OBTAINING A UNITARY PATENT
- Unitary Patents will be granted by the EPO, in the same way as existing European patents.
- A Unitary Patent can be requested after grant, essentially as part of the existing national validation procedure.
- If a Unitary patent is requested, it replaces the national patents in the participating countries.
- National patents in countries not participating exist alongside the Unitary Patent in a new type of bundle.
- If a Unitary Patent requested, it will not be possible to validate the European patent in the countries covered by the Unitary Patent.
- Double patenting in some countries (e.g. Germany, Finland) may still be possible by filing a separate national application in parallel
- If a Unitary Patent is not wanted, all current options remain available for now.
- No changes to the EPO opposition process.
- During a transitional period of at least six years (possibly 12), a full translation of the European patent specification Must be filed.
- If the application was filed in English, then the translation can be into any other official language of an EU member state.
- After the transitional period, it will no longer be necessary to file any translations in order to obtain a Unitary Patent.
- During the sunrise period (2 months before the start), it will possible to delay grant of the European patent until the Start of the UP system.
UNITARY PATENT COSTS
- Biggest cost: Renewal / maintenance fee
- The fee level is roughly equal to the combined renewal fees of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy, the four most common national validation states.
- It’s rare to validate many countries.
- UP renewal fee is all or nothing.