When the UPC enters into force, applicants of European patent applications will get another option to obtain a Unitary Patent that provides uniform protection in all participating EU member states. This EU Unitary Patent will simplify the filing and validation of a European patent throughout the EU. Ultimately, the costs of the Unitary Patent are also expected to be lower than under the current system.
Unitary protection for the Unitary Patent is expected to apply in 17 EU member states in the first phase. We expect that additional EU member states that have not yet fully joined the UPC will be joining in the near future. A combination of Unitary Patent and classical EP bundle patent is also possible, in particular to proceed with the validation in further EPC member states of the European Patent Office that are not EU member states or do not participate in the Unitary Patent System (such as Spain, Poland and Croatia).
Via an opt-out declaration to a European patent there is also the possibility for the applicant to remain in the classical EP bundle patent.
Another advantage is: The Unified Patent Court has exclusive jurisdiction over Unitary Patents and thus provides an efficient forum for the enforcement of patents in Europe, in the European countries that have acceded to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, ending the need for parallel litigation in different EU Member States. It is important to keep in mind that for national patents, as well as European patents in non-EU member states, the UPC does not have jurisdiction.
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