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The New Unitary Patent System for EU; Opportunities and Challenges

Mohammed Hossein Erfanmanesh

The long awaited project of the creation of a unitary patent system within EU (EU patent) was finally agreed when the EU Minsters signed the agreement for establishing a Unified Patent Court (UPC) in February 2013. This agreement accompanied by two other Regulations constitutes the package for EU patent. Once the agreement on UPC comes into force by ratification of 13 countries, the registration of an EU patent will be launched. This new legal framework will have significant impacts on innovation and economic growth in EU. On one hand, the EU patent is a single patent which will be valid across the EU States. This would reduce the costs of obtaining patents, and facilitate their enforcement. On the other hand, as the geographical coverage of a patent increases, the risks of more validity and infringement challenges could go up. There are also some concerns about potential implementation gaps and possible forum shopping.The future paper evolved from this abstract will look at the historical development of the new unitary patent system, and then discuss its nature. It will further examine and analyse this system on the basis of weighing the opportunities and challenges ahead of its implementation.

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