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    Unitary Patent

    The unitary patent came into force since 1 June 2023 - a patent that offers protection for 17 countries of the European Union “in one go”. On this page, you can read everything about a unitary patent.


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    What is a unitary patent?

    The unitary patent is a patent that offers protection “at once” for 17 countries of the European Union. The unitary patent must make it financially attractive for the patent applicant to obtain a patent in “Europe”.

    Who is the unitary patent for?

    The unitary patent should make it financially more attractive for patent applicants to obtain a patent in “Europe”. Particularly when a patent is desired in a relatively large number of European countries, the unitary patent will be more financially attractive than a bundle of national patents.

    In which countries does it offer protection?

    The unitary patent offers protection for 17 countries of the European Union. Not all 27 EU countries are participating. For example, an important country such as Spain is not taking part. The same applies to the United Kingdom (UK) since Brexit.

    • Belgium
    • Bulgaria
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • The Nederlands
    • Austria
    • Portugal
    • Slovenia
    • Finland
    • Sweden
    AOMB afbeelding

    Why a unitary patent?

    Cost reduction

    The unitary patent makes it possible to apply for a patent that is valid in several countries at a lower cost.

    Easier administration

    Because patents can be applied for centrally, it is no longer necessary to go to a national court of the country in question.

    Unified Patent Court

    You can enforce your unitary patent in a centrally oriented court.

    More powerful patent

    The unitary patent makes it possible to take infringers to court in a more “powerful” way.

    How the unitary patent works

    Cost of a unitary patent

    The cost of maintaining a unitary patent has been equated with the cost of the renewal fees of the four most popular “validation countries” (i.e. the four countries in which a “classic” European patent has been most frequently validated). If you have more than four European countries for patent protection in mind, a unitary patent can therefore be cost-effective.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What does a unitary patent cost?

    The costs of a unitary patent differ in many cases from the costs of a ''classic'' European patent.

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    Since when has the unitary patent been available?

    The unitary patent came into force since 1 June 2023

    In which countries is a unitary patent valid?

    The unitary patent provides protection for the following 17 countries of the European Union; Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden.

    Is a unitary patent valid worldwide?

    A unitary patent is not valid worldwide. For EU countries that do not participate in the unitary patent, the situation remains “the same” and protection can only be obtained through a “classic” European patent.

    Why was the unitary patent created?

    The unitary patent was created to make it easier and cheaper to obtain patent protection in several European countries at the same time. A unitary patent is (as stated above) more cost-efficient, in particular with regard to the costs of the renewal fees, and on the other hand, the "Unified Patent Court" to be set up offers the possibility to establish the validity of a unitary patent - or infringement of a unitary patent - “centrally”, without having to initiate separate procedures at national level.

    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.

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    What is the Unified Patent Court?

    This is a new European patent court where unitary patent disputes are settled. This court only deals with patent cases.

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    Afbeelding Contact an expert

    Contact an expert

    A unitary patent offers you as a (future) patent holder additional choices. Whether a unitary patent is of interest to you depends on your specific situation. AOMB is happy to discuss with you which choices are desirable for your patent portfolio.

    Contact us