Do you know those chain-reaction type obstacle courses (like this one!), where things like dominoes, ping-pong balls, and various levers and objects combine to do something really trivial, like press a button? These are called Heath Robinson contraptions, or Rube Goldberg machines, after respective British and American illustrators who dreamt up and illustrated various fanciful contraptions.

Last week the most complex Rube Goldberg machine of the IP world successfully completed its tortuous and circuitous cycle, when Germany deposited with the EU its ratification of the legal agreements that govern the Unitary Patent and the UPC.

This means that the new system will come into force on 1 June 2023.  But more immediately, the so-called “sunrise period” for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will start this week, i.e. from 1 March 2023, lasting until the new system is formally up and running.

During this time, it is possible to opt out existing “classical” European Patents from the jurisdiction of the UPC.

At Scintilla we offer a free-of-charge opt out service.  If you haven’t decided what to do or if you need advice about the new Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court system we would be very happy to have a chat!


At Scintilla, we help innovative companies get a grip on their intellectual property. Our unique commercial approach combines registration of patents and trade marks with strategic input so that IP can be a springboard for business growth. If you would like to discuss your IP needs, do contact us or book a free initial consultation!