Value from Knowledge

The Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) have entered into force

8 June 2023

The Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) entered into force on 1 June 2023.

The Unitary Patent is a European patent, which will have uniform legal effect in the member states of the UPC agreement.

At present, the agreement covers the following 17 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.

EP patents which will be issued in the future can be validated as a Unitary Patent or by traditional national validation in the individual countries.

The Unitary Patent is a cost-effective way of getting a patent validated in several countries. However, it also means that the proprietor is bound to enforcement by the UPC, which can lead to uncertainty, because the practice of the UPC has to be established.

If the national validation is chosen, it is still possible, during a transitional period of 7 years, to opt-out the patent, so that any prosecution will have to be conducted nationally. The opt-out must be done before any legal action has begun.

In addition, it is noted that the UPC results in shorter response times. Thus, it is important to act quickly if you are sued under the UPC.

VALUA offers advice regarding the Unitary Patent, the Unified Patent Court and the option to opt-out.