Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court

On June 1, 2023, the European Patent with unitary effect became effective and the Unified Patent Court, a new international institution established to adjudicate patent disputes, began operating.

Unitary patent protection can prove to be a very interesting tool for those entities whose activities extend beyond Poland’s borders. Currently, 17 EU member states participate in the UPC system (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden), with Poland not being part of the new system. This does not mean, however, that Polish entities (small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, large corporations, institutes or universities) cannot enjoy the benefits of this solution.

The procedure before the European Patent Office remains the same, still the obtained EP patent can be validated in 22 countries, while deciding on the unitary effect in the 17 countries indicated above. At FGGH IP, we have professional attorneys listed and authorized to represent clients before the Unified Patent Court. These proceedings may involve patent invalidation, patent infringement or Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) cases.

In matters related to the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court, we offer:

  • submission of Opt-Out requests exempting both published EP applications and already granted patents from the jurisdiction of the new UPC court;
  • filing applications for Unitary effect before the EPO for granted European Patents;
  • representing clients before the Unified Patent Court both on the side of parties initiating proceedings and those suing before the central or local branches of the UPC;
  • consulting and training on optimal patent portfolio management.

As part of our comprehensive service, we select the right tools to manage our clients’ patent portfolios, including but not limited to choosing Unitary effect instead of conducting separate 17 national validations. We always look at the matter from the client’s point of view, including the financial aspects, so we advise strategies that are advantageous in this regard. However, saving money at this stage can cost a lot, if a central dispute is initiated. You can find out where possible pitfalls lurk for the entitled party and how to avoid them by contacting our experts.