HomeInsightsEuropean Patent Office announces final preparations for commencement of the Unitary Patent

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On 7 February 2022, the EPO President met with the Chair of the Unified Patent Court Preparatory Committee, as well as representatives of the participating member states in charge of the five work streams for the Preparatory Committee, and the Chair of the Select Committee of the Administrative Council in charge of the Unitary Patent, for an update on progress in carrying out the final preparations for launch of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC).

The provisional application period began in January 2022, which the EPO President said, “gave the signal that the UPC/UPP package will soon become a reality”.

The Chair of the UPC Preparatory Committee, said: “It is hugely encouraging to have come this far. We are now highly motivated to work, together with our partners, to conclude the preparations”.

The Chair of the Select Committee said that its work would be completed by 30 June 2022.

The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court are the building blocks of the Unitary Patent package which the EPO says will supplement and strengthen the existing centralised European patent-granting system. Unitary patents will make it possible to obtain uniform patent protection in the participating EU member states which have ratified the UPC Agreement, by submitting a single request to the EPO, making the protection of inventions for patent holders simpler and more cost effective.

The UPC will be a common court of the participating member states with jurisdiction for infringement and revocation actions concerning patents granted by the EPO. This specialised court will, the EPO says, make the Europe-wide enforcement of patents easier, offer greater legal certainty and reduce costs resulting from litigation in multiple jurisdictions. To read the EPO’s press release in full, click here.