The major modifications to European patent law in a generation have come with the introduction of the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Owners of granted and pending European patent rights must decide how to manage these developments in consideration of their implications for the granted and pending nature of their patent rights.
Modifications to European patent law
These modifications have been planned for a long time. The legislation will go into effect after German approval, which is anticipated in December 2022. According to the most recent roadmap, the law will go into effect on April 1st, 2023.
A unitary patent will be valid in a number of nations that are signatories to the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Union (EU).
A new international court for patent disputes will be called the Unified Patent Court. Unitary patent litigation will only take place at the UPC. Unless certain patents have been excluded, the UPC will also have authority over national validations of European patents in the affected nations.
The 39 EPC member nations won’t all be impacted. The initial implementation of the modifications is anticipated to take place in 17 nations, including France and Germany. The UK, Spain, and Switzerland, among other countries, will not be subject to the new legislation.
The patent portfolio will affect by the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court. Both patent applicants and patent holders should take into consideration the following two issues:
- Only patents that are granted after the Legislation takes effect are affected by the Unitary Patent.
- The Unified Patent Court has an effect on both applications that are still ongoing and already-issued European patents. The legislative modifications also have an impact on supplemental protection certificates (SPCs) for pharmaceutical inventions. The three-month dawn period for opting out of the UPC’s jurisdiction over domestically validated European patents is set to start on January 1, 2023, supposing German approval in December 2022.
You can see a list of France IP firms here.