1 June marks an historic day for patentprotection in Europewith the entry into operationof the much anticipated Unitary Patent system. The launch representsthe most significant development in the European patent landscape since the signing of the European Patent Convention 50 years ago.
The UnitaryPatent system bringsa host of substantial improvements for users everywhere, including cost reductions, streamlined procedures, increasedtransparency, and enhanced legal certainty.
Starting 1 June, users can apply for a single patent through a single procedure, subject to a singlerenewal fee in a singlecurrency, and litigate under asingle legal system before the UnifiedPatent Court (UPC). The UPC, which also commences its operations today, makes a centralised enforcement systemfor patents a reality, and allows users to file cases at the European level.
So far, seventeen states- Austria, Belgium,Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia,Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands,Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden -have joined, with eight additional EU member states expected toparticipate in the future. These economies generatean estimated combined GDP of more thanEUR 12 trillion - or almost 80% of the entire EU's GDP - and incorporate a population of nearly300 million people. The new patentregime further solidifies European's standing as a critical global market forinnovation and investment.
Speaking on thismomentous occasion, EPO PresidentAntónio Campinos said, "This day heralds a new dawn forpatents and innovation in Europe.It is a time when users can lookforward to a more accessible form ofpatent protection that will deliver growth forour businesses and economies, and help our inventors to deliver sustainable solutions to tackle the greatchallenges of our day. But thisachievement wouldn't have been possible without the unwavering dedication and tireless efforts of exceptional experts, politicalrepresentatives, patent system users everywhere, and, of course, the remarkable work of the EPO staff, among many others.The European Patent Office has been entrustedwith administering the UnitaryPatent by the member states,and together with our stakeholders, we're going to make it another success forEurope."
Follow the launch day online
To celebrate thismilestone, the EPO is hosting the hybrid event, "Welcoming the Unitary Patent System -A new era for innovation in Europe", on1 June at 15:00 CEST that can be followedonline. The celebration brings together key stakeholders and features distinguished speakers, including the EPO President António Campinos, Gunnar Strömmer, SwedishMinister for Justicerepresenting the EU Council Presidency, Éric Dupond-Moretti, French Minister of Justice, Franz Fayot, Luxembourg Minister of Economy, Thierry Breton,EU Commissioner for the Internal Market and President of theCourt of Appeal of the UPC, Dr Klaus Grabinski.
This event is open to all withoutthe need to register beforehand.