The unitary patent, a European patent with unitary effect, will be an another option for companies besides the national patents and classical European patents. A unitary patent is in fact a European patent granted by the EPO and will effective, after grant, in more than 25 participating states.
The main advantages of the unitary patent
1- The unitary patent offers immediate protection in 25 European countries with one patent! You don't need to file a patent in each European country you want your patent to be effective.
2- The unitary patent will be cheaper than the classic european patent. The president of the EPO, European Patent Office, thinks you will reduce up to 70% compared with the classic version filed in the same countries.
3- Filing a patent all over Europe will become much easier, so for an innovative company it is much more attractive to apply a unitary patent.
Protection of intellectual capital was always something local. The European Patent Organisation has been around for 40 years, and has 38 member states, the 28 EU countries plus like Norway and Switzerland. There was already a European patent for 40 years, but until now a patent had to filed in each separate country.
Unitary Patent Court
For this protection, you need a specialized court. That is quite a challenge, because it would be the first supranational court in the world which may settle disputes between private parties. The treaty was signed in 2013 committed by 25 EU Member States. It should now be ratified in a few countries, including the Netherlands.
The unitary patent is to be expected a huge improvement for the European economy. The protection of intellectual property in the EU will be much simpler. It is estimated that the costs are about 70 percent lower than if you would apply a patent in every single EU country. For each patent that amounts to several thousand euros.
And it will also boost innovation. Many SMEs now do not protect their inventions, because they find it too much hassle or because it is too expensive for them. The new unitary patent will be more affordable.