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    What is the difference between a unitary patent and a European/worldwide patent?

    Patents are essentially national rights. This means that patents must in principle be applied for in every country where you would like to establish patent rights.

    In the end, sooner or later a “country choice” will have to be made. It is possible to file an international (PCT) patent application (a “worldwide patent application”) - such an international patent application gives an applicant a temporary extension of the country selection deadline. However, an international or “worldwide patent” as such does not exist. An international patent application can ultimately also be pursued in “Europe”, with Europe being regarded as one country for the patent granting procedure. At the end of the European patent granting procedure, a choice must then be made between a unitary patent or a “classic” European patent, as explained above.

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