The European Patent Office has been entrusted with certain administrative tasks relating to Unitary Patents (UPs), including examining requests for a Unitary Patent, receiving renewal fees and maintaining a register. Although the start date for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent (UP) is still uncertain, particularly in light of parliamentary processes in the UK and Germany, the European Patent Office has continued with its internal preparations and has just released a guide to the unitary patent:
The comprehensive guide (37 pages) covers all aspects of obtaining, maintaining and managing a Unitary Patent. There is also a brief upbeat comment on the potential effect of Brexit: “Should the UK’s withdrawal from the EU become legally binding, … the Unitary Patent will cease to apply here. This will not, however, lead to a loss of patent protection in the United Kingdom for Unitary Patent proprietors. Appropriate solutions that avoid any loss of rights or legal uncertainty can be expected.”
If you have any questions about the UPC or UP, including strategic decisions for your European patent portfolio, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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