1211 BN Hilversum
+31 35 3031 666
Or make a callback request
1211 BN Hilversum
+31 35 3031 666
Wouter Kempes June 2023
As from 1 March 2023, it takes 3 months before the Unified Patent Court opens it doors. The 3 months period is called the Sunrise period, which has nothing to do with sun, holidays, and vacation, the opposite is true though for IP professionals that have to deal with opt-outs paperwork and so on. Big question is whether UPC will indeed makes things easier and faster.
In the 3 months period however, planet Earth counts 92 sunrises, each sunrise taking just a couple of minutes. Isn’t it symbolic that planet EPO turns that slow compared to real life on planet Earth and causes backlogs in granting patents? Each year there a more European patent applications whilst the number of grants have dramatically decreased. Wake up EPO and happy Sunrise!
Rather than today’s countdown-to-UPC-Sunrise-32-days-to-go, we may end up in count-up again and/or to recountdown by 63-days-to-go
The yearly congress LSPN (Life Sciences Patent Network) was held in London today. And guess what was on top of mind? Yes indeed, lots of upc related topics still being unclear came across: unitary patent, a plurality of patent owners, plurality of geographically differing licensees, opting out European patents during sunrise period, SPCs in different countries, which court is to deal with revocation and/or infringement. Interesting what the next months will teach us.
Tonight, Aldgate Tower, London. Weren’t the 12th and 13th floor prepared for London’s Unified Patent Court? UPC is really missing something. The London court however may still be established in the EU though, which is a very small district of Savigny-sur-Seille in France, less than 100km north from Lyon.
So many words have been said lately already about the UPC, European patent with unitary effect, and its preceding Sunrise period. Sunrise period more or less sounds like a chapter of a fairy tale of which the EPO is the author responsible for this romantic sounding period. Is the Sunrise period romantic indeed? No, it is a bloody nightmare! It is causing a mesh for European patent owners including their advisors.
It is determined that even currently granted European patents and patent applications will fall under the UPC by default, the by-default thing having a so undesirable effect. From legal certainty point of view, current European patents and patent applications shall NOT fall under the UPC by default. It is unbelievable such a claim has survived during all the meetings the intellectual law-makers, like pro EU and EU members and lawyers, have had. As a result, during the Sunrise period, all patent owners and their advisors will end up in a huge amount of work to opt-out about half a million of cases from the UPC, causing them nightmares.
The Sunrise period is rather a Thin-ice period instead and it forms a critical start of the UPC and the European patent with unitary effect for the 17 participating EU countries. This by-default-upc thing is wrong, fault, unjust, and unlawful. It is unworthy of Europe and highly unbefitting.
The go-ahead of this thing however, is currently still only in one hand, in the hand of one German person who would hold his pen on paper next month for his signature on the last page of the ratification paper.
Just in case this matter will come true indeed, there is only one sunlight at the end of this UPC tunnel, in that DOGIO provides the Central Opt-Out Link, which is COOL for mass production opt-outs. Here we go
Today the Central Division of the UPC in Munich looks like the picture below: quite steady, cold, empty, and calm. The lonely receptionists still seem to be rather unaware about what will come. I just walked out from its premises, the same what probably soon will happen with thousands of cases that soon will fall or would have fallen under the UPC regime by default. Walking out the UPC premises however is a bit easier than opting out cases from the UPC. Patent attorneys are suddenly confronted with arranging authentification hardware, enrolment for a authentication card, and signing stuff for validly filing opt out cases from the UPC. To make things easier, patent attorneys may be rather helped by a Central Division for Opting Out cases. DOGIO initiated such a service. Follow the Central Opting Out Link, COOL, atwww.dogiopatents.nl/cool
Today IP Service World in Munich just kicked-off. Main topic here of course is preparation for unitary patent, unified patent court, filing a request for unitary effect, and opt-out filings, the last topic being a huge one. It is expected that thousands of current European patents are going to be opted-out to prevent that these will fall under the unified patent court by default. Nice job to be done during early Sunrise. Probably the most trending topic in the World of IP Services in the coming months
On my way to Munich to attend IP Service World being held as from tomorrow. Curious what services IP professionals are dealing with in the near future
Looking forward to participate in the LSPN Europe Congress and to meet many people to talk with about preparations for UPC Sunrise (43 days to go!)
Today the Belgium Patent Office hosted a rather EPO minded conference in Brussels about unitary European patent and unified patent court. In speakers’ academic and almost infinite euforic pro European Union tones there was no room for criticism nor for still unclear legal bases items and unclear procedures with unknown results. Too much questions have still been left behind for patent attorneys who have to struggle with open law ends. In what way should and would they advise their clients?
Looking forward to meeting patent professionals at the IP Service World next week in Munich (November 21 and 22), with focus on unitary European patent, unified patent court, and opting-out services
European patent with unitary effect vs current validation system, which one to choose? Opting for fixed renewal fee vs opting for a longterm flexibility which may be financially more attractive? See https://www.dogiopatents.nl/the-unitary-patent-is-on-its-way-but-do-you-really-want-it/
European patent with unitary effect and Unified Patent Court (#UPC) would make life easier for patent owners. Really?
After the UPC Sunrise, the current system and the new system will coexist for at least seven years. For at least that period, the patent attorney may explain his clients about both systems. Nice opportunity to contact your clients, one of the UPC supporters says. It took us five pages of text to explain our clients it in the first place. It further takes, case by case, quite a lot of effort to study, analyse, look into a crystal ball and decide on unitary effect or to stick to the current system having its known adequate, secure and flexible features. Wishing both patent owner and patent attorney good luck in this!
Are you an owner of a European Patent and do you know that your patent will fall under the UPC by default, unless you file an opt-out? Ask your patent attorney who knows (almost) all about it
All images copyright Dogio Patents 2022