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Despite delayed Start of the Unitary Patent System: Transitional Measures of the EPO starting from January 1st, 2023

Last week it was announced that the planned start of the Unitary Patent System will be postponed to June 1, 2023. Accordingly, the start of the Sunrise Period is scheduled for March 1, 2023 (we reported:

In order to facilitate the transition to the Unitary Patent System, the European Patent Office, as the authority that will grant European patents with unitary effect (“unitary patents”), had already defined two transitional measures some time ago, namely:

These two measures will continue to be available as of January 1, 2023! Thus, they are not affected by the postponement of the planned start of the Unitary Patent System and the Sunrise Period (cf. and ).

This is good news for patent applicants who want to work towards a unitary patent because an early request for unitary effect and/or a request for delay is available for all those patent applications for which a communication under Rule 71(3) EPC has been issued that can be answered in a timely manner on January 1, 2023 or later (simplified).

In summary, the following preparatory measures for the Unitary Patent System are available to patent applicants and patentees:

Our blog contributions shall provide an overview with regard to legal topics, legislation and case law and are supposed to provide some general information rather than constituting any specific advice. Please do not hesitate to contact Maiwald and in particular the authors of the particular contributions if have any questions on the addressed topics or on other legal issues.

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Dr. Tobias Philipp


German Patent Attorney

European Patent Attorney

UPC Representative

Mechanical Engineer

Ingénieur Diplômé (ECP)