Esche Schümann Commichau

Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court

The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court will cause significant changes to the European patent landscape: For the first time, a uniform protection throughout the European Union is envisaged. The administration of granted patents will be simplified. The enforcement will be concentrated on a few European courts.

The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court came into being by the end of 2012. Currently, the process of ratification is under way. It is to be expected that the required number of ratifications will not be reached before the end of 2016 and that the new patent system will then come into force. The necessary political will is clearly visible.

With the coming into force of the so called patent package the new Unified Patent Court will start working. The court will not only have jurisdiction over disputes arising out of Unitary Patents, but also arising out of already existing European patents. Therefore, already today applicants and owners of European patents have to consider whether to stay in the Unified Patent Court system with their European patents or to opt-out.

1. Overview

    Existing Patent Protection | Creation of the Unitary Patent | Legal Basis – The "Patent Package"

2. The Unitary Patent

    Application Procedure | The Languages Regime | The Unitary Effect

3. Unified Patent Court System

    The Unified Patent Court | Rules of Procedure

4. Entry into Force and Transitional Provisions

    Entry into Force | Transitional Provisions

5. Strategic Considerations

    Application Procedure | Court Proceedings