The unitary patent does not yet exist! The reasons are political (brexit) and legal (constitutional conformity in Germany). Find out when it starts - for example with our newsletter.
The unitary patent is intended to benefit inventors and companies: Firstly, one's innovations are protected with a single patent in several countries and saves a lot of paper and costs. The otherwise very complex translation into the languages is omitted. - The unitary patent can be applied for in German, English or French. - The cost of the translations is not to be underestimated in the conventional method. And instead of one fee per country, only one is billed for all.
Despite all the advantages and simple registration, there are many things to consider. If, for example, the patent is not granted, the entire processing costs are lost. A risk that can be minimized in advance with a professional search by the Austrian Patent Office. Such a search is available for € 258 and will be completed within a few months. Even better: With a national patent or utility model application, you also get this research and at the same time secure the priority day. Applicants should therefore first go to the Austrian Patent Office and only then register the unitary patent.
The new granting procedure works according to the principle "one for all, all for one". If the patent is granted, then it applies in all participating countries. But if it is challenged in one of the countries successfully, it loses its effect also in all countries. The challenge is negotiated, depending on the technical subject, before one of the central chambers in Paris or Munich (a replacement solution is being sought for the third planned seat in London following the announced withdrawal of the UK).
The violation of a unitary patent is negotiated before a local chamber. This can be in Stockholm, Milan or Vienna, to mention only three examples. You can appeal against the decision of a local chamber again in one of the central chambers.
The unitary patent will become effective as soon as Germany ratifies the associated agreeement on the Unification Patent Court.
In Great Britain, the Johnson government has now announced the withdrawal of Great Britain (despite prior ratification).
Moreover, in Germany, the Constitutional Court annulled parliamentary ratification on formal grounds (no constitutional majority was given because too few Members of Parliament were present).
It is to be expected that Germany, even after a possible repair of the ratification process, will wait until all legal and political problems have been clarified before bringing it into force (by deposting the instrument of ratification in Brussels).
Austrian Patent Office
Dresdner Straße 87
Dr. Johannes Werner
Telefon +43 (0)1 53424 - 357
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