Unitary Patent: a tale of two patents


Ermioni Pavlidou

Unitary Patent: a tale of two patents

Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock.com

The Unitary Patent is designed to help promote innovation as well as ensure the full and effective protection of inventors’ rights across Europe, as Ermioni Pavlidou reports.

Being a member of the EU, one would expect it to be easy and fast to register a patent and be given uniform protection throughout the member states. Being an inventor or businessman targeting the EU, one would expect it to be easy to file a single application and receive uniform protection without any further costs. But is this the case?

In December 2012, reforms were agreed by the European parliament and the European Council providing for a Unified Patent Court (UPC) and establishing a legal right to a patent with a unitary effect.

Following these reforms, in February 2013, an agreement was signed in Brussels by the EU member states establishing the single UPC and the Unitary Patent. 

This new patent provides for a single EU right and thus allows for uniform protection throughout the EU members. The new Unitary Patent system will be initiated at the earliest during 2015 and will serve as a complement (an extra option) to the existing European patent system.

UPC, EPO, Unitary Patent