The newly introduced Unitary Patent will be implemented in Europe by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.
While the Unitary Patent is filed through the European Patent Office (EPO), just as the current European patent is, the two types of patents are very different. The main distinction between the Unitary Patent and the previous European patent is that the Unitary Patent will take effect across many European countries as one singular patent, as opposed to multiple patents for different countries.
Once this system is implemented, it will run alongside the current system. This gives patentees the option of using the current system, converting their current European Patent into a Unitary Patent, or opting for both a Unitary patent in the countries that accept it as well as a European patent in the remaining excluded countries.
The following countries will be included in the Unitary Patent: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
Unitary Patents will be challenged in the new Unified Patent Court (UPC). This court will have the ability to either revoke or validate a patent in all countries included in the Unitary Patent, instead of needing to challenge a patent in many different national courts.
Patentees are able to opt-out of the Unitary Patent system, with a choice to opt back in at a later date. National courts continue to have jurisdiction over the patents that opt-out.
Please let us know how you would like to file your patent.
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Naomi Assia, adv
Naomi Assia & Co. - Law Offices
Intellectual Property, Patent Attorneys, Computer law, High tech Transactions & Notary