Plougmann Vingtoft is ready for the new European patent system

Preparations ahead of the new Unified Patent Court in Europe are in full swing and the system is expected to enter force at the beginning of 2023. At Plougmann Vingtoft, we are ready. But what are the practical implications for you as a client? Keep reading for an answer to that question.

Following a protracted process sprinkled with obstacles, the new Unified Patent Court, UPC, finally seems to be on track to open.

On January 19, 2022, the protocol on the UPC provisional application phase (PAP) entered into force when Austria ratified the protocol as the 13th member state. With this ratification, the practical preparations ahead of the UPC have now commenced, and the UPC is expected to open in late 2022 or early 2023.

By now, you might be left with the burning question: “What are the practical implications for me?”

The UPC and unitary patent

The Unified Patent Court entails significant changes for patent proprietors in Europe. For example, the new system introduces a unitary patent covering all the member states. Further, there will only be a single European patent court, which will decide on cases concerning both unitary patents and traditional European patents.

With the unitary patent, patent proprietors can now protect their inventions with a single patent that covers all EU countries except Spain and Poland, which have decided not to participate. In total, 25 countries are part of the UPC. See which in the image below.

One advantage of the unitary patent is the possibility to obtain a uniform legal protection in all the participating member states without first having to file a validation of the European patent individually in each country, which often requires the claims or even the entire patent to be translated into that country’s official language. Additionally, the new system only requires renewal fees to be paid in one place, which obviously constitutes a saving for the patent proprietor in the long run.

Conversely, the disadvantage is that a patent can be revoked with uniform effect across the majority of the EU under the UPC.

10 UPC certified patent attorneys

The introduction of the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent constitute rather significant changes. But at Plougmann Vingtoft, we are prepared.

At present, 10 of our European Patent Attorneys have already completed the CEIPI course ‘Patent Litigation in Europe’ at the University of Strasbourg. As such, they are educated to represent our clients under the new UPC system.

We also continually conduct in-house training of our patent attorneys and IP administrators to ensure that they stay up-to-date on the latest news and developments regarding the UPC and unitary patent.

Further, we are currently preparing our internal IT systems in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for our clients. As such, we will be ready to carry out validations under the new system as soon as the UPC officially opens.

Would you like to know more about how Plougmann Vingtoft is preparing for the new system or what it means for you as a client? Contact Claus Elmeros or Christian L. Christiansen directly or fill out our contact form.