After decades of discussion, the implementation of a so-called “Unitary Patent Package”, i.e. the establishment of a Unitary Patent (UP) and a Unified Patent Court (UPC), has reached its final stages. The Unitary Patent (UP) aims to provide a single approach to patent protection and enforcement across 25 European Union Member States with a combined population of over 400 million.
Using the existing European patent application procedure, a Unitary Patent will be administered centrally by the European Patent Office (EPO). Once obtained, a Unitary Patent will be enforceable throughout the participating Member States in a single action brought before the new Unified Patent Court (UPC). The Unitary Patent Package is expected to enter into force during 2020 and will be a supplement to the existing European Patent.
The current status is that Brexit is a reality, the UK has left the EU as of 31 January 2020, and as of 27 February 2020 has indicated that they do not want to be part of the UPC.
Furthermore, on 20 March 2020 the German constitution court has decided that the German approval of the UPC was not done by the required two-thirds majority in the Bundestag. The German approval is therefore pending – again.
We do not yet know what kind of impact these events will have on the UPC and the legal framework behind the UPC system, but it seems that the fate of the UPC is now balancing between proceeding without the UK very soon or rethinking the system entirely.
Our specialist UPC team, consisting of experienced European Patent Attorneys with UPC litigation certificates who can represent clients in the future UPC court, will be ready to help you understand and prepare for these challenges, and help you enforce your patent rights throughout Europe.
If you want to learn more about the Unitary Patent Package and how Aera’s experts can help you, please contact us or send an email directly to one of our experts below.