• 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.  



  • 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.