The Unitary Patent is Coming to Europe June 1, 2023 – Are you ready?
By Michael Antone, Intellectual Property Attorney and Counsel at Nemphos Braue
After decades of work on the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), the Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) is coming to many European countries on June 1, 2023. The UP is a unitary patent right covering the participating countries. The UPC is a patent court created to have sole jurisdiction over UPs and also shared jurisdiction with national courts over pre-existing European patents that have been nationalized in individual countries.
The UPCA affects the patent rights of ALL patent owners with patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) and patent applicants with pending applications in the EPO.
If you are a current EP patent owner, the time to act is NOW.
Under the UPCA, on June 1, 2023, all pre-existing European patents will, by default, become subject to the jurisdiction of the UPC, as well as the individual member country courts where the EP patent is nationalized, unless the patent owner opts out of the UPC.
The purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of the changes introduced by the UPCA and some of the implications to current and potential future EP patent owners and applicants.