The landscape for patent protection in Europe is evolving.
The entry into force of the Protocol on Provisional Application of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement has been announced by the European Union on January 19th 2022, thereby triggering a finalization period for getting the Court operative in the next months.
Patent proprietors of an EP patent will be able to request unitary patent protection of their granted EP patents, thereby getting a Unitary Patent which provides uniform patent protection in up to 25 member states of the EU. At the moment, 17 EU member states will participate in the Unitary Patent when it starts (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden).
Unitary Patents will have simple and centralized validation procedures. They will be enforceable and revocable throughout all participating member states in a single court proceeding.
The aim of the European legislators was to reduce the cost for obtaining broad patent protection in Europe. However, those benefits are counter-balanced by some drawbacks, as for example higher risks if an adverse decision is issued. Moreover, the Unitary Patent does not cover some countries like Switzerland, United Kingdom, Spain or Norway.
Therefore, it is necessary to build up tailor-made strategies, depending on each specific case.
P&TS has gathered an impressive team of patent attorneys from many European Countries, as well as two litigators with a Diploma in Patent Litigation in Europe. We are thus well prepared to advise our clients about the best strategy for patent protection in Europe. Stay in touch for more information to come!