Jan 01, 2023: EPO eases access to the request for unitary effect (early application for unitary effect; delayed grant of existing application)
Dec 5, 2022: The deposit of the ratified UPC Agreement is postponed to March 1, 2023. Thus, the Unified Patent Court is expected to start its work on June 1, 2023. Then the unitary patent will be valid in 17 countries.
Oct 19, 2022: The Unified Patent Court confirms the appointment of a total of 85 judges (34 legally qualified and 51 technically qualified judges) who will take office upon the entry into force of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court.
Feb 22, 2022: Here we go! The Administrative Council of the Court is constituted in its inaugural meeting. The Budget Committee and the Advisory Committee were established.
Feb 07, 2022: The protocol is published in the BGBl (BGBl. III Nr. 14/2022).
Jan 17, 2022: Austria deposits the protocol for the preparatory, "provisional" application of articles of the United Court Treaty. The initiation of the "provisional phase" is thus secured and can begin!
The EU unitary patent is coming in 2023 and everyone should have easy access to it. For the current time 17 member states are participating, fully developed, it can then become 24.
The unitary patent will bring advantages to inventors and companies: Firstly, it allows for a protection of innovations with one single patent and one single Patent Office under a centralized fee and translation regime. This saves time and a lot of paperwork. Additionally, protection will become more affordable - what used to pay for protection in four countries, now pays for protection in 17 countries. Above all, the otherwise very time-consuming translation into several different national languages according to different national legislation is no longer necessary. Additionally, a centralized court system will ensure legal certainty.
Despite all the advantages and the simple application, there are some things to consider. For example, if the unitary effect is not granted, the entire procedural fees will be lost.
The new granting procedure works according to the principle "One for all, all for one". If the patent is granted, it is valid in all participating countries. However, if it is successfully challenged in front of the unified patent court, then it can lose its effect in all countries.
The Unified Patent Court will consist of two central chambers in Munich and Paris, as well as local chambers in Vienna, Stockholm, Brussels, Copenhagen and more.
The Court of Appeal will be situated in Luxembourg.
The Unitary Patent will enter into force when Germany ratifies the Agreement on the Unitary Patent Court and formally deposits the instrument in Brussels.
After a sunrise period of three months, the unitary patent system will then enter into force on June 1, 2023 and first European Patents with unitary effect can be granted.
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