The Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) came into effect from the 1st June 2023, marking a major change in the landscape of European Patents. The (UPC) received its first patent challenge of its existence on the 2nd June.
What is the UPC?
In essence, it is an agreement between (at present) 17 Member States of the European Union to provide a single European Patent covering those 17 Member States and a Patents Court having exclusive jurisdiction over disputes relating to European Patents. The UK is, of course, not a member of the European Union per se and, so, these changes do not directly affect European Patents (UK); however, your Patenting strategies outside of the UK require further consideration.
To date, the present Member States of the UP and UPC are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.
According to the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), the Unitary Patent is expected to make gaining patent protection across Europe simpler and less expensive.
More information is available here – The Unified Patent Court www.unified-patent-court.org