Paris, January 19, 2022 – It’s been a long and bumpy road, but here we are! The provisional application protocol (PAP) enters into force today. During this period of provisional application, which is expected to last about 8 months, the Preparatory Committee will set up the administrative bodies of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). In particular, the Preparatory Committee will recruit the judges.
Germany’s ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Jurisdiction (AJUB) at the end of this provisional period will then initiate the definitive entry into force of the European patent with unitary effect and of the UPC on the first day of the fourth month following this ratification.
What should European patent applicants be prepared for in 2022?
For pending European patent applications not yet granted, the European Patent Office (EPO) has already announced today two transitional measures before the entry into force of the unitary patent system for applications having reached the final stage of the grant procedure (notification under Rule 71(3) EPC).
The first measure will allow to request the unitary effect in advance from the ratification of the AJUB by Germany and the unitary effect will be recorded by the EPO as soon as the system starts.
The second measure will make it possible to request the postponement of the grant decision after the establishment of the notification according to Rule 71(3) EPC by the EPO, starting with the ratification of the AJUB by Germany. The unitary effect will thus be possible since the publication of the mention of the grant will be postponed to the launch date of the system.
Concerning the granted European patents, the holder will have to take position within a period of 3 months during the transitional period and before the entry into force of the UPC for each of his granted European patents of his wish to derogate from the competence of the UPC (opt-out) or not. We will come back to this important phase in a future publication.
Regimbeau’s teams are closely following these developments and are naturally at your side to accompany you and provide guidance.