HSF shares insights on the Milan local division UPC judges for Managing IP

Following the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Administrative Committee's appointment of 85 legal and technical judges last month, including the appointment of two legally qualified judges in the Milan local division, Herbert Smith Freehills' Joint Global Head of Intellectual Property Laura Orlando shares her insights with Managing IP on what this may mean for the UPC. Read more

UPC hopes to be operational by end of 2022 or early 2023 and opt-out sunrise period to start immediately Germany deposits instrument of ratification

The UPC administration has confirmed that  it is a reasonable assessment that the start of the UPC's operations will happen during the last quarter of 2022 or early 2023. The announcement stated that: "[German ratification] will happen when the Administrative Committee is confident that the Court is operational. The German deposit will also mark the start of the sunrise period during which it will be possible to opt out existing European patents from the jurisdiction of the Court". The timing of the start of operations of the Court depends on the progress of the preparatory work. Read more

HSF feature article in PLC Magazine on the UPC and unitary patent (part 1)

Herbert Smith Freehills' European IP team have authored a feature article The UPC and the unitary patent: a choice for businesses, published in the March 2022 edition of PLC Magazine on the impact of the UPC and unitary patent system now likely to commence at the end of 2022 or early in 2023. In Part 1 we look the patent choices the new patent system will provide for prospective patentees, including whether to request unitary status for their EPs (the unitary patent). We look in detail at unitary patents - how to obtain unitary status and the transactional issues surrounding unitary patents, including applicable law of property and licensing and co-ownership issues. We also set out the timeframe to the date when the UPC will start accepting cases; explain where the UPC and unitary patents will have effect; and suggest what businesses should be doing now. Read more

EPO issues guidance on achieving unitary patent status from day 1 of the UPC/UP system for European patent applications coming up to grant

With the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system now likely to commence towards the second half of 2022, the European Patent Office has issued transitional measures aimed at ensuring that patents coming to grant close to the start of the new system are able to get unitary protection (ie unitary patent status) from the "day 1", including via a delayed grant mechanism. Read more

HSF IP partners interviewed on strategic considerations in the run up to the UPC

IAM recently interviewed our IP partners Laura Orlando and Sebastian Moore in an article The EU’s UPC launch is imminent – here’s what IP strategists need to know, published on 25 January. The article explores the key steps and decisions for patent professionals in the months leading up to the UPC's launch and some of the important strategic considerations that should be factored in, including opt-out strategies, pros and cons for the life sciences industry, uncertainties on procedural questions, and much more. Read more

Austrian government completes ratification of Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement – once this is deposited the UPC may start after 8 months

The EPO has announced that the Austrian government has successfully completed its ratification of the Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application (PPA). Once this ratification is deposited with the EU Council, then the UPCA provisional application period can commence and final preparations can be made for the arrival of the UPC, with the knowledge that the UPC's commencement is assured.  The UPC Preparatory Committee has estimated that this preparation period would need to last around 8 months, so the UPC could start around 8 months from Austria's deposit. Read more