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The Provisional Application Period of the UPC has begun

19 January 2022

On 18th January, Austria deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol on the Provisional Application of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). Since Austria was the 13th country to do so, this protocol has now entered into force, such that many of the articles of the UPCA have now entered into “provisional application”.  This has been confirmed here.

Before the Unified Patent Court (UPC) enters into its operational phase, a “provisional application phase” is needed which provides the court with the legal capacity to complete all necessary organisational steps, including the recruitments of judges. The provisional phase is expected to last for around eight months and so we might expect the UPC to be fully operational in the autumn of 2022.

Applicants will be able to protect their inventions in at least 17 countries with a single Unitary Patent (UP) when the system is implemented. The Unitary Patent will become available for newly granted European patents at the same time that the UPC comes into operation.