EPO pushes start date UP to 2018

June 19, 2017

The European Patent Office has again pushed back the start date of the Unitary Patent System. It is now expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2018.

Whether early 2018 is a realistic date remains uncertain, as the start date of the system has been pushed back ever since the Unitary Patent system entered into force in 2013. The latest start date was 1 December 2017, but the

The delay is caused by the ratification process. With Germany and Great Britain, two countries who need to ratify for the system to become operational, still holding out on signing, any start date is a mere estimate of their actions.

Germany is holding off on signing while awaiting a national court decision, while the ratification of Great Britain is delayed by the Brexit.

As the chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the UP, Alexander Ramsay, puts it in a statement: “Under the current circumstances it is difficult to maintain a definitive starting date for the period of provisional application.”