Unitary patent enters into force

Today, June 1, the unitary patent system comes into force. A dream that was born back in the seventies which, after negotiations back and forth since 2009, has now finally landed.

Patents granted by the EPO can now be given unitary effect at the request of the applicant. The unitary patent system does not replace the previous routes to patents, but constitutes an additional route. Not all EU countries participate in the unitary patent system. Initially, a unitary patent will be valid in 17 countries. They will gradually become more, but a couple of countries have chosen to stay completely outside the system. If you request uniform effect of your European patent, you still have the opportunity to validate it in the remaining EPC countries in the traditional way.

The European Patent Office will take care of all administration regarding the unitary patents. The request for the patent to have unitary effect must therefore be submitted to the EPO within one month of the publication of the patent notice in the EPO's bulletin.

Read more about unitary patent

Read more about the unitary patent system on the EPO's website