Intellectual property: Final step taken to launch the Unitary Patent system

European Union, 2018European Union, 2018

The Commission welcomes Germany’s deposition of instrument on the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement triggering the final step required for the system to start operating on 1 June 2023.

The unitary patent system will provide businesses with a one-stop-shop for obtaining patent protection and enforcing it in Europe. It will make both obtaining patents and patent enforcement much easier, more transparent and more affordable. The new Unified Patent Court is included in the new system. It will offer the possibility to enforce patents – not only the new unitary patents but also the non-unitary European patents – in the participating Member States in a centralised manner, increasing legal certainty and improving businesses’ overall competitiveness.

The new unitary patent system is an important milestone for European companies to protect their intellectual property in the face of fierce global competition. It will also help boost research and innovation in the EU, which is essential to support Europe’s green and digital transitions and to strengthen our resilience.

Originally proposed by the Commission back in 2012, the Unified Patent Court Agreement entered into provisional application on 19 January 2022.

Once officially launched, 17 Member States will initially participate in the new system, with the possibility for other Member States to join in the future. A number of transitional measures have already been launched by the European Patent Office and the Unified Patent Court to help users make the most of the new system. More information can be found here.