The Chairman of the Unified Patent Court, Alexander Ramsay, has published an update on the expected implementation timetable for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent. Following recent reports of delay in Germany (see our blog post here), the question of when the new system will eventually come into force has been very uncertain. There has, however, been recent progress in Estonia and the UK where steps have been taken towards ratification of the UPC Agreement.
It has now been announced that, whilst a definitive start date is still difficult to predict, the Chairman is optimistic that the German issue will be dealt with swiftly and that the new system can commence, provisionally, in autumn 2017. It would then follow that the sunrise period (allowing conventional European Patents to be "opted out" of the UPC's jurisdiction) would begin in the first quarter of 2018, with the court becoming officially active around six months later.
We are assured that a more detailed timetable will be announced in due course and we will be sure to keep you updated on any news.