Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court

An introduction to the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court

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You can watch our introductory video below:

Unitary Patent (UP)

The unitary patent is the first piece of the EU patent package. It was established by two Regulations which entered into force on 20 January 2013 and which will be applicable from the date of the entry into force of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. This is now expected to be in late 2022 or early 2023. The way for applicants to obtain a UP will be via a conventional European patent application at the European Patent Office (EPO). At  the grant stage, applicants will have the option to gain a single ‘European patent with unitary effect’ covering certain EU states which are participating in the UP system, in addition to the present bundle of national patents obtained when validating a conventional European patent.

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Unified Patent Court (UPC)

The European Union has worked for several years on the establishment of a common patent court which will be created on the basis of an international treaty. The UPC Agreement – which is the second piece of the EU patent package – was signed on 19 February 2013 and will enter into force four months after 13 states (including France, Germany and Italy) have completed the ratification process.

As of 15 October 2021, 16 states including France and Italy have ratified. The date on which the UPC Agreement enters into force will therefore be determined by the date on which the last mandatory country, Germany, deposits its instrument of ratification, which is expected to take place during 2022.

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