Finland: Legal Alert – Major Step Towards Unitary Patent As The Eu Member States Reach An Agreement On The Seat Of The Unified Patent Court: Central Division To Paris And Specialised Clusters To London And Munich
On 29 June 2012 the member states of the EU reached a
significant agreement towards the adoption of the unitary patent.
The compromise agreement sets the Central Division of the future
Unified Patent Court (UPC) in Paris and two clusters in Munich and
The long-lasting efforts of creating a unitary patent protection
system took a leap forward as this decision was reached. For
several years, an objective of the EU has been to create a
European-wide patent system. With the decision on the location of
the court the plan for a one-stop shop for obtaining a patent
having immediate effect in the EU instead of protection in separate
states, combined with a single specialised patent court, is a lot
All of the member states, excluding Italy and Spain, participate
in the process of obtaining a unitary patent that will allow patent
protection within the member states on the basis of a single
application. No further formalities will be required, such as
validation and translation. Disputes regarding the future unitary
patents will be settled in a single court action in the UPC instead
of parallel legal proceedings in the member states. The UPC will
have exclusive jurisdiction in infringement and revocation
proceedings involving both European patents and future unitary
The object of the reform is to simplify patent application
process and reduce the costs of patent protection. The new system
will also increase the possibilities for inventors and companies
within the EU as the markets of the 25 participating states
comprise a market of 400 million customers. The reform is also
planned to increase Europe's competitiveness especially in
relation to patent giants US and China.
The UPC will be set up on the basis of an international treaty
and administered by the European Patent Office (EPO). The first
unitary patent might be registered as soon as in 2014 and the
future unitary patents will be available in all official languages
of the EU.
The European Parliament was supposed to vote on the "patent
package" in July 2012, but as the European Council suggested
changes to the draft regulation, the parliament agreed to resume
the discussion in September.
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