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The competence in various areas of the new Unified Patent Court is a matter of conjecture, as Paul England and Christof Höhne of law firm Taylor Wessing report.
News has emerged from the July 10 meeting of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Preparatory Committee that it is considering a ‘provisional operation’ period for the new court, starting in January 2016.
The provisional period would allow appointment of a registrar and other key roles, and further ratifications of the UPC agreement by contracting member states. It would also allow the recording of opt-outs of European (‘classical’) patents, instead of the earlier proposed sunrise period.
The period would run until a formal start date for the court, in autumn 2016 at the earliest. The formal start date would then allow for the lodging of the court’s first cases. The provisional operation period is yet to be confirmed officially, but it would bring forward the date at which European patents can be opted-out, compared with the previous estimates of sometime in 2017–2018.
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