19 December 2022
From 1 January 2023 the period for early uptake of the Unitary Patent begins. The Unitary Patent system is expected to enter into force on 1 June 2023, when the Unified Patent Court (UPC) should also come into operation, heralding a new era for patent protection in Europe.
The sunrise period for the UPC should begin on 1 March 2023.
Official forms relating to the early uptake of the Unitary Patent are now available on the EPO website. These relate to requests for unitary effect, as well as to requests for delay in issuing the decision to grant a European patent, so as to benefit from unitary effect in due course. These forms can be validly submitted only from 1 January 2023, and not before. The EPO's Online Filing 2.0 tool will be updated to receive the new requests from that date.
We are making our forms and associated guidance for online filing available now in light of the office closure over the Christmas and New Year period (24 December to 1 January). Our online filing tools remain operational throughout the closure. The EPO re-opens for ordinary business from 2 January 2023, including processing of the requests filed.