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Unitary Patent – First Steps

Published: 2022-11-03

The UP (Unitary Patent) is the latest step in the growth and development of the European Patent system. Like previous steps this presents both challenges and opportunities. Over the following weeks we will present, explain and bring these closer to you to help you decide on paths to follow in the future. We will do so using written presentations for you to download, print and share as well as video presentations on social media and our website. These will be delivered covering specific topics, allowing for interaction and questions by our followers.

We would like to begin by looking at who is in and who is not. Color-coded maps to define current and potential future status of jurisdictions covered by the UP and UPC (Unitary Patent Court) are plentiful. To keep things simple, we will use straight forward two-colorgreen for “IN” and red for “OUT”approach on the following maps:
Map I showing current UP countries; Map II adding and identifying EU countries currently not in on the UP and Map III adding EPC countries not in the UP because they are not part of the EU. These maps reflect the status on November X, 2022 and will be updated regularly on our website www.mgm-ip.es as changes arise.
Mobility from any one map into any other is possible and depends on the authority in charge of adhesion.
1.       The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic Union of 27 member states (Map II). Admission is up to the EU, while getting out is up to:
2.       The individual member states, as shown recently by BREXIT.
3.       The European Patent Convention (EPC), is a multilateral treaty providing an autonomous legal system for the grant of European patents. Adhesion to the EPC  or signing a validation agreement is governed by the EPO(European Patent Office).
In order to move into Map I you need to be in Map II. Acceptance lies principally with the European Patent Organisation and since the UP is essentially an EPO product, this would appear to be a formality.So, while the scope of the EU reaches far beyond IP, the scope of the EPC reaches far beyond not only the EU, but Europein purely geographic terms. This should be kept in mind as we analyze pros and cons next week.


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