Today we have finally reached the date of the start of the new European patent system, which includes a new court, the Unified Patent Court (UPC), and a new patent, the Unitary Patent (UP).

This is a completely new system for patents in Europe which allows for patent protection in the majority of the EU countries via a single patent, the so-called European patent with a unitary effect. The new system also marks the presence of a new patent court, the UPC. The UPC will deal with a number of different proceedings, for example concerning infringements and declarations of invalidity of classical European patents, unitary patents and supplementary protection certificates (SPC). The purpose of this change is above all to reduce the costs of patents in Europe and to increase the legal certainty for both patent holders and third parties.

Hence, as of today, it will be possible to request a UP and it is also the day that the UPC opens its doors. The UPC will have exclusive jurisdiction over UPs, and in the future also over classical European patents and applications. However, during a transitional period of at least 7 years it will be possible to exempt classical European patents and patent applications from UPC’s jurisdiction (a so-called “opt-out”). A UP, on the other hand, can never be exempted from UPC’s jurisdiction.

Brann’s team is ready to assist you with any questions that you may have regarding the new system. For further information, please visit our UPC website.