An Overview of the Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court
The new Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court ‘EU Patent Package’ may be 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. Businesses should consider the impact of the changes and have a strategy in place in place prior to the package starting.
However, we do not yet know when the package will start. Despite the published time frame, it is not likely to start in December 2017. A more realistic estimate is now the second quarter of 2018. But further delays will reignite uncertainty over the whole future.
We expect the picture to be clearer towards the end of 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.
- Effect on ‘legacy’ patent that are already granted
- Effect on your new patent applications being filed now
- Effect long-term on future patents
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.