The forthcoming introduction of the Unitary Patent and filing early requests for unitary effect
January 25, 2022
In a notice from the EPO dated 22 December 2021 the EPO announced that it will accept early requests for unitary effect as of the date of deposit of Germany's instrument of ratification of the UPCA.
Unitary effect may only be registered by the EPO for any European patent granted on or after the date of application of Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012.
It should be noted that the filing of an early request for unitary effect does not imply that the EPO will delay issuing the decision to grant a European patent, which can only occur upon explicit request (see the separate notice from the EPO dated 22 December 2021 concerning requesting delays in grant).