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The Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is a Court set up to decide on infringement and validity actions relating to Unitary Patents (UP) and European patents that have not been opted out of the UPC's jurisdiction. The UPC was created by the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) which will enter into force on 1 June 2023.

The UPC's decisions will have effect in EPO Member States that have ratified the UPCA (which currently includes some, but not all, EU Member States).

The UPC will start operating on 1 June 2023. The introduction of this new system has immediate practical implications for patentees.

In preparation for this new system patentees should consider:

  • whether to opt-out some or all of their European patents from the UPC's jurisdiction
  • whether to request unitary effect to obtain a unitary patent

E+F will be able to request unitary effect and act before the UPC (for example, to opt-out European patents from the UPC's jurisdiction). 

The resources below provide background information and highlight key considerations that patentees should take into account when considering if and how to make use of this new system. For more specific guidance, please get in touch with your E+F representative or email us at


The UPC is a new, international court for patent litigation in Europe. The court is set to begin operating as of 1 June 2023. Together with the European Patent with Unitary effect (the unitary patent or UP), this is the biggest change to the European patent landscape for over 40 years.
The long-anticipated Unitary Patent (UP) will become available in June 2023, alongside the opening of the Unified Patent Court (UPC).
This handy diagram illustrates how validation options for European patents have changed by the introduction of the Unitary Patent
A guide to opting out of the UPC's jurisdiction
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16 June 2023
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) includes a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal. Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centres are also expected, for supporting and fostering amicable settlements for any disputes.
09 March 2023
As of 1 June 2023, the Unitary Patent (UP) system will come into effect. As a result, rather than granted European patents having to be individually validated and maintained in each country, patent proprietors will be able to request a single UP.
02 March 2023
1 March 2023 was an important day for patents in Europe. It marked the dawn of the sunrise period preceding the long-awaited entry into force of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). During this period, European patents can be opted out of the Unified Patent Court's (UPC) jurisdiction (as discussed in our recent articles on this topic).
27 February 2023
Germany completes ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), triggering the start of the sunrise period.
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