Unitary European Patent

There has been a promising development for those who seek patent protection in the European Union.  On June 28-29, 2012, the European Council agreed to establish a Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.  After a European patent is granted, the patentee may elect:

• a Unitary Patent granting protection in all the states participating in the Unitary Patent System, or
• a more traditional European patent with individual territorial protection in the designated states.

The Unitary Patent will not require national validation in individual European countries.  This will reduce costs and greatly streamline the process for obtaining patent protection in Europe.  

The Central Division will reside in Paris, with specialized courts in London and Munich.  London will hear cases related to "human necessities," 
i.e. chemistry, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.  The European patent court will have exclusive jurisdiction over infringement and revocation proceedings involving both European and Unitary Patents.

Final approval by the European Parliament is expected this summer.  For more information, see:

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