17 March 2017
The Hague
Reporter: Barney Dixon

UPC on track for December launch


The Unified Patent Court’s (UPC) provisional application stage will begin at the end of May, making it all the more likely that the planned December 2017 launch date will be met.

The UPC’s preparatory committee convened on 15 March and signalled its readiness for provisional application.

A small operational team is now working to oversee the recruitment of judges and the testing of the IT and case management system. The team will also ensure resources are in place and trained in readiness for the court opening.

The committee did add in a statement that the start of the period of provisional application depends on a few more signatory states acceding to the protocol.

The UPC’s sunrise period for European patent opt-outs will begin in September, allowing three months for businesses to make any adjustments to their strategies.

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