The UPC is GO! Sufficient ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application means the UPC is guaranteed to commence and final practical preparations can now be made for a start that could be as early as Autumn 2022

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, has declared that the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement has entered into force today (19.01.22) after Austria deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol yesterday, allowing the provisional application period to commence. Only one more ratification was needed for the Protocol to come into effect and this has now been achieved. All the practical preparations for, and financial investment in, the new court system can now be made during the provisional application period, safe in the knowledge that the UPC will now definitely become a reality. Although there is no prescribed period for the provisional application period, the UPC Preparatory Committee has previously estimated that about 8 months will be needed to prepare, which implies that we may have the UPC ready to hear cases as early as September or October 2022. 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

HSF IP partners interviewed on UPC preparations by IAM

IAM have interviewed our IP partners Laura Orlando and Sebastian Moore in an article, The EU's Unified Patent Court is set to open in 2022 - this is what you need to know, on the progress towards the new European patent system. The article discusses the new landscape for patent enforcement - including the 2022 start date, opt-out considerations and deadlines, and the practical arrangements needed to bring the new court to life. Sebastian and Laura comment in particular on the location of the life sciences seat of the central division and the recruitment and composition of the UPC judiciary. Read more

Progress in Austria brings the UPC ever closer

Progress continues at pace towards the new Unified Patent Court (“UPC“) in Europe, with news that the National Council of the Austrian Parliament (Nationalrat) has unanimously approved the Protocol on Provisional Application (“PPA“). The next step is for the PPA to be approved by the Austrian Bundesrat (Federal Council), and this is likely to happen … Read more

UPC – Doors Open in 2022?

Recent comments from the UPC Preparatory Committee make it look increasingly likely that the UPC will open its doors for business during 2022. The Committee announced that only one more country now needs to ratify the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement and that this is likely to happen before the end of this year. Read more

UK National AI Strategy – Government launches consultation on AI and IP

Following on from the Call for views on AI and IP conducted by the UK IPO in the last quarter of 2020, and as part of the UK AI National Strategy, the UK government has launched a consultation on AI and IP. This consultation targets the more contentious areas arising from the earlier Call for Views and focuses on copyright in works made by AI; text and data mining using copyright material; and patents for inventions devised by AI. Read more

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) – another step forward – provisional application period close to commencing

Germany's deposit of its ratification of the UPC protocol on provisional application on 27 September, 2021, and suggestions that Slovenia and Austria may also ratify shortly, mean that the provisional application period during which the practical arrangements for the UPC will be put in place, which this protocol (once sufficiently ratified) will usher in, now looks likely to commence before the end of 2021 and possibly even as soon as October. If so, the UPC could start to function fully from mid-2022, as has been suggested by the UPC Preparatory Committee. Read more