EPO Transitional Measures
To support users who wish to obtain a Unitary Patent and who are in the final stages of the pre-grant procedure, the EPO has introduced certain transitional measures that are available ahead of the 1st June 2023 start date. These measures are available from 1st January 2023 for a period of 5 months.
During this period, Applicants will be able to request a delay in issuing a decision to grant until after the date on which the UPC Agreement comes into force i.e., 1st June 2023. This will allow unitary effect to be requested for a European Patent that would otherwise have been granted before the start date of the UPC. This delay can be requested for applications for which a Communication under Rule 71(3) has been issued but before, or at the same time as, approving the text intended for grant.
An early request for unitary effect can also be filed during this period. As filing an early request for unitary effect will not delay grant, if the Patent is due to be granted before the Unitary Patent system comes into force on 1st June 2023, a request to delay grant should also be filed at the same time.
As with most aspects of law, whether a UP is of benefit or necessary will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If you wish to discuss this in more detail, please contact your attorney at PurdyLucey.