Appleyard Lees

An Overview of the EU Patent Package

An Overview of the EU Patent Package

The new ‘EU Patent Package’ is coming soon … here is our guide through the changes.

The EU Patent Package is undoubtedly good news for businesses, bringing with it simplified and reduced cost coverage and enforcement.  With the UK government announcing in November 2016 that they are pressing ahead with ratification, Businesses should plan for the unitary rights coming into force before the end of 2017. Click here for more information.

Caution needs to be applied before the impact of Brexit on the package is certain.

It is hoped the UK will stay party to the package after the UK exits the EU, after all, why would they sign up if the intention wasn’t to stay.  However, there is a risk the UK would exit the package when they leave the EU.  If this happens, the UK would no longer be covered by the new unitary rights.

Again, it is expected that transitional provisions would be put in place to prevent any UK rights or relief being lost.  But until the picture is certain and the continuation of unitary rights and relief guaranteed in the UK, Brexit adds a further dimension to consider when deciding a strategy to deal with the Unitary Patent and UPC.  For advice please contact us at ip@appleyardlees.com.

Introduction

We expect that the package will come into force in 2017. There is a lot to consider with this package of changes, which will introduce:

The Unitary Patent (UP) will offer an additional option at the grant stage of a European patent. However, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will affect all European patents.

There is understandable nervousness about using this new court to decide patent infringement and patent validity matters in Europe, at least until the first decisions have been made and we get a better comparison against the current national courts.

Next we take a look at how the changes will affect your currently granted patents in Europe, and the patents that you will get granted in future.

Finally, we consider how the new UP and UPC package will change the way that you asses patents held by a competitor.

For Specific advice please contact a member of the Appleyard Lees Team.

Paul MisselbrookPartner

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