On 1 June 2023, the unitary patent will enter into force after years of negotiations. A milestone for entrepreneurs who want to protect their innovations in a more uniform, effective and affordable way in the EU.
What is the unitary patent?
The current European patent is a bundle of national patent rights, which must be validated, maintained and defended separately in each country. This is a complex and costly process.
The new unitary patent, also known as the European patent with unitary effect, is an additional choice for companies looking to protect their innovations in the EU. The UP's main advantages: it is simpler, more cost-effective and efficient.
By submitting a single request to the European Patent Office, you can now protect and enforce your innovation in 17 EU countries that have joined the enhanced cooperation in the creation of Unitary Patent protection, including the three Benelux countries. The Unitary Patent will eventually cover all the 25 EU Member States that have joined the enhanced cooperation, as soon as these member states have ratified the relevant legislation regarding the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA).
The Unified Patent Court (UPC)
The UPC is a new patent court that will handle disputes for the 17 participating countries. In addition to the UPC's main offices in Paris, Munich and a third court to be established in Milan, there are several local divisions, one of which is in The Hague and one in Brussels.
The UPC will open its doors on 1 June, the date the unitary patent also enters into force. The UPC also has a Court of Appeal, based in Luxembourg.
For more information on the unitary patent, contact our IP partners in the Benelux: