16 January 2017
Brussels
Reporter: Barney Dixon

UPC to begin in 2017


The unitary patent system is expected to become operational in December 2017, according to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee.

The committee said that it is now working under the assumption that the provisional application phase will begin at the end of spring 2017, meaning that the projected timeline for the UPC Agreement to enter into force will be at the end of this year.

This also means that judicial interviews can begin and appointments can be confirmed.

While the timetable is conditional, the committee said: “The most important factors in meeting these dates is the necessary ratifications of the UPC agreement and accession to the protocol on provisional application.”

“If these are not achieved the time-plan will be disrupted.”

The committee’s final meeting will take place in March 2017, after which more details about the committee’s work programme will be published.

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