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German government: UPC launch date ‘under review’

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The three-month sunrise period before the court opens cannot begin until Germany deposits its instrument of ratification

The German government department responsible for triggering the countdown to the Unified Patent Court said a proposed launch date of April 1 was under review.

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Justice (MoJ) told Managing IP it supported the UPC while it attempted to address technology concerns with the electronic case management system (CMS).

“The impact of this work on the launch date of the UPC is under review,” the spokesperson said.

Managing IP understands that UPC organisers could make an announcement regarding start dates in the coming days.

At the moment, organisers are hopeful that a three-month sunrise period, during which users can opt-out their European patents, will begin on January 1 and that the court will open its doors on April 1.

But there has been panic in recent weeks. Numerous users have said they cannot access the CMS or get themselves verified.

After the MoJ deposits its formal instrument of ratification, the sunrise period will start on the first day of the following month.

The MoJ spokesperson added: “Any impact on the timing will be announced promptly on the website of the UPC so that potential users can prepare themselves in good time.”

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