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The unitary patent system will start on 1 June 2023

The unitary patent (UP) offers a new alternative alongside the European patent (EP) to protect inventions in Europe. The unitary patent system enables the patent holder to gain a patent valid in all the countries participating in the system at the same time. From 1 June 2023, there will be 17 EU member states in the system.

Unitary patents and classic European patents are granted by the European Patent Office (EPO).

New patent court (UPC)

The unitary patent system and Unified Patent Court (UPC) will begin operations simultaneously. In the future, the UPC will hear disputes over unitary patents and classic European patents – cases that are currently dealt with in national courts.

Holders of European patents have the option to file an opt-out

The unitary patent system will be preceded by a three-month sunrise period, which starts on 1 March 2023. During the period, holders of European patents will have the option to exclude their European patents from the scope of UPC litigation. In these situations, disputes will be litigated in the court of each country as they are today.

This opt-out requires a notification to the UPC. The notification can be filed only if no action has already been brought before the UPC in respect of the patent. This is why it is recommended to file any opt-outs before the UPC begins operations on 1 June 2023. You can, however, file an opt-out within seven years of the start of the UPC. Read more on the Unified Patent Court website about filing an opt-out.Open link in a new tab

See our useful links below for more information about the unitary patent and its effects:

Information about the unitary patent on the European Patent Office (EPO) website.Open link in a new tab

Unified Patent Court (UPC) website.Open link in a new tab

Read more about the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court on our website.

For further information, please contact:

Patent Advisory Service
Tel. +358 29 509 5858
Mon–Fri 9.00–15.00

Printable version Latest update 01.03.2023