In this post we have already outlined the new EU “unitary” patent system, to be put in place in the coming months. Now, the initial 3-month “sunrise period” is to commence. However, the forecast date of January 1st, 2023 has been moved to March 1st, 2023 on account of technical problems in accessing the UPC case management system. Luckily, however, secondary legislation is regularly on route; so the effective date of UPCA is still expected to be June 1st, 2023.
The Unitary patent system is an EU initiative intended to enhance the system based on the Munich 1973 EPC – European Patent Convention (which is European, but not confined to the EU). In fact, an EPC patent may be granted “unitary effect” (i.e. validity in all the countries that are both EU members, and have ratified the UPCA), upon timely request filed with EPO, the EPC managing office by the patentee. This may be done from Jan 1st, 2023 even though the Unitary system is not yet in force (see here).
 Currently, they are 17 (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden).