Unitary Patent transition period has started

The Unitary Patent system is expected to start on 1 June 2023 after the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) enters into force. Only European patents granted on or after that date will be eligible for unitary effect.

The transition period - marking the phase leading to the full entry into force of the Unitary Patent - started on 1 January 2023 at the EPO. Similarly, the so-called sunrise period will commence on 1 March 2023 for the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

To promote early uptake of the Unitary Patent and enable patent system users with applications in the final phase of the grant procedure to benefit from it, the EPO implemented two transitional measures as of 1 January 2023. These measures enable patent applicants to:

  • Request a delay in issuing the decision to grant a European patent
  • File an early request for unitary effect

Both measures are available at the applicant's request.

Delaying the decision to grant

Applicants who wish to take advantage of the Unitary Patent regime, but expect their application to be granted prior to its entry into force on 1 June 2023, can request a delay to the grant decision using form 2025. This request is made public in the “All documents” panel view of the European Patent Register (see Fig. 1).

Request for a delay in issuing the decision to grant  
Fig. 1. Request for a delay in issuing the decision to grant (click on the image to enlarge) 

Filing an early request for unitary effect  

Patent applicants can also file early requests for unitary effect using form 7000. However, this information will only be made public in the new chapter for Unitary Patent protection in the Register after its launch in June 2023.  

You can find out more about how to search patents for which unitary effect was requested or registered by watching our Patent Knowledge Nugget video tutorial (see link below).  

Keywords: Unitary Patent, transition period, sunrise period, European Patent Register  

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