The provisional application phase of the UP/UPC regime started on 19 January 2022 when Austria deposited its instrument of ratification and the Protocol to the UPCA on provisional application entered into force (ratification by 13 countries, including Germany, France and Italy, was needed to enter this phase).
During the provisional application phase certain provisions of the UPCA have become provisionally applicable and final practical preparations have been completed. This includes establishing the UPC as an international organisation, setting up the formal structure of the organisation, selecting and appointing the UPC judges, recruiting staff, enacting secondary legislation (including the Rules of Procedure of the UPC), and creating / finalising the electronic case management system.
All legal requirements for the UP/UPC system to come into being have now been fulfilled, and the UPCA will enter into force and the UPC will open its doors on the first day of the fourth month after Germany deposits its instrument of ratification with the European Council, providing a 3-month Sunrise Period before the start of the new system. Germany deposited its instrument of ratification of the UPCA on 17 February 2023, triggering the start of the Sunrise Period on 1 March 2023 and resulting in a start date for the UP/UPC system on 1 June 2023.
The Sunrise Period will be very important for patent proprietors and applicants, as it will be possible to file opt-out requests during this period (see more on this here).