Berlin, June 1 (EFECOM).- The entry into force today of the unitary patent system and of a unified patent judicial system represents a “historic step” in the culmination of the internal market and marks the “beginning of a new era for the protection of innovations in Europe”, held this Thursday the European Patent Office (EPO), based in Munich (Germany).
Thus, as of today, users will be able to apply for a single unitary patent, that is, a European patent with unitary effect, through a single procedure, subject to a single renewal fee in a single currency, says the statement from the EPO.
In addition, they will be able to litigate, also from today, under a single legal system before the Unified Patent Court (TUP), which makes a centralized system of patent litigation a reality and allows users to file claims at the European level.
The unitary patent system brings a series of substantial improvements for users anywhere, such as reduced costs, simplified procedures, increased transparency and improved legal certainty.
For the president of the OEP, António Campinos, “the entry into force today of the Unitary Patent system marks a historic moment by creating a more accessible, more profitable and simpler patent system.”
Thus, for the first time, Europe can count on “a technology market without borders to support its innovative companies,” he added.
“With this step, we have not only leveled the playing field with our competitors in other regions, but have also created the conditions that will boost innovation and our economies,” he said.
With this improvement, the EPO forecasts a 2% increase in annual trade flows and a 15% growth in foreign direct investment in high-tech sectors,” he added.
The new unitary patent thus offers one more option for patent protection in the member states of the European Union, in addition to the classic European and national patents.
In the new system, the EPO acts as a single window for unitary patent holders and replaces the system in force until now, with a multitude of parallel national validation procedures.
Access to the unitary patent is open to all EU member states and 17 have signed up to date: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia , Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. EFECOM