The first attempts to create a unitary patent for the EU region date back to 1970s. Although, the projects and initiatives introduced at that time had different names, the idea behind them was very similar to the one that prompted the creation of unitary patent that may soon help many businesses and inventors avoid a lot of unnecessary headache.
The main characteristics of the so-called European patent are:
- The patent, once granted, will be valid at all the member countries. This means that you will not need to apply for a patent in every country separately.
- The holder of the patent will only have to pay a single renewal fee. This is another huge benefit of the unitary effect. You only need to pay for the patent renewal once, and it will be automatically updated in every European country.
- There will be only one court to deal with the unitary patent-related issues. The Unified Patent Court is to be the legal body that will govern all the judicial matters associated with this patent.
- The owner of the patent will be offered uniform protection. This means that should any issue arise, like a patent infringement case, the final decision made by the court will pertain to the patent as a whole, so you won’t have to sue the offenders in every European country.
Considering all these qualities, it is really no wonder that this idea gained popularity quickly. Although it took a lot of time to work out a unitary patent agreement that is accepted by everyone, people finally managed to do this, and many inventors today can benefit from the results of their hard work, right?
It turns out that the situation isn’t as good as it may seem. Spain, Croatia, and Italy decided to fight this project tooth and nail, and their combined efforts managed to hinder the progress of the patent’s legal acceptance.
Why Unitary Patent?
There are many benefits to unitary patent, but the real reason that will definitely make it the most popular European patent option is its affordability. The unitary effect allows the applicants to cut their costs significantly, as they only need to pay for the patent once.
The officials don’t even require for the paperwork to be translated if it is filed in English, German, or French. This also helps cut down your expenses a little. A machine translation of the text may be required, but it will not hold any legal power.
There is no doubt that European unitary patent is the future of this business. Its implementation will be able to simplify the business relations within the EU and with its foreign partners.