The European Union’s new unitary patent
The European Parliament passed on the 11 December legislation for a single patent and its unitary court (UPC) for the European Union. The details of the concept are in my previous post.
The European Commission has estimated that the cost of obtaining patent protection for all EU countries is about 36000 Euros, of which 23000 is translation costs. By comparison, they say that the cost of an American patent is 1850 Euros (for private inventors and small companies). The cost of the new patent is estimated to be under 5000 Euros.
A press release by the European Patent Office, which will administer the patent, states “Request for unitary patents may be filed once the legal provisions for both the unitary patent and the UPC have entered into force. The agreement establishing the UPC is expected to be signed on 18 February 2013 and will enter into force once thirteen EU member states have ratified the package, including France, Germany and the UK. The EPO expects to validate the first unitary patent in 2014.”