The EPO has made forms available to request transitional measures for European patents with a view to the entry into force of the Unitary Patent system. The forms relate to requests for unitary effect, as well as to requests for delay in issuing the decision to grant a European patent, so as to benefit from unitary effect in due course.
The start date for the transitional measures is 1 January 2023. As the EPO reports on its website, the new forms ‘can be validly submitted only from 1 January 2023, and not before. The EPO’s Online Filing 2.0 tool will be updated to receive the new requests from that date.
We are making our forms and associated guidance for online filing available now in light of the office closure over the Christmas and New Year period (24 December to 1 January). Our online filing tools remain operational throughout the closure. The EPO re-opens for ordinary business from 2 January 2023, including processing of the requests filed.’
The Unitary Patent system is currently expected to enter into force on 1 June 2023, they day the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will open its doors for cases, as is currently planned. The sunrise period for the UPC, in which patents can already be opted out from the jurisdiction of the new court, should begin on 1 March 2023.
Links as provided by the EPO:
- EPO Forms
- Online Filing 2.0
- Holiday closure notice
- Training materials for the Unitary Patent (English only)