The entry into operation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will not occur in December 2017, the previously announced target date. This means the long-awaiting Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) regimes will not be up and running, at the earliest, until sometime in 2018.

Delays in the progress of national procedures concerning the ratification of the UPC Agreement and the participation in the Protocol on Provisional Application have been cited as the reason for the December 2017 target date being unable to be maintained. A revised target date has not yet been published.

The official notice announcing this delay can be read here. For more on the unitary patent, see our recent article here.

The UP and UPC will bring in some big changes, and it’s time to be thinking about this now.