Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court

A Unitary Patent (UP) is a kind of "add-on" to the classic EP patent system, which makes it possible to obtain unitary patent protection for a whole group of participating EU member states. Metaphorically speaking, the Unitary Patent is validated for the whole group of EU member states as if it were a single country. The European Patent Office (EPO) is and will remain the competent and responsible authority. Up to the date a patent is granted, the application and examination procedure remains the same.

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is a supranational, newly created court set up to decide on disputes relating to Unitary Patents and to classic EP patents as well. However, classic EP patents can be excluded from the jurisdiction of the UPC by filing a so-called opt-out. The UPC's new rules of procedure aim to conduct litigation procedures tightly scheduled with short deadlines such that a first instance decision is rendered within 12 months.