The European Patent with unitary effect (“Unified Patent”) will be introduced soon. The final stage of the preparatory work will be accomplished by the end of this summer and the final missing ratification will then be deposited by Germany.
In order to give applicants the possibility to obtain Unitary patent protection for EP applications that are scheduled for grant between the deposit of the final ratification and the entering into effect of the Unified Patent, the EPO announced the following measure for deferring grant.
For applications for which a notification under Rule 71(3)EPC has been issued, the applicant may file a request for delay of grant until the entry into effect of the Unitary Patent.
The request for delay of grant must meet several formal requirements: The corresponding Form 2025 must be used. No agreement on the text proposed for grant must have been given yet by the applicant.
Further, the deadline of four months for replying to the notification R71(3)EPC is not altered.
In order to facilitate obtaining Unitary Patent protection, during the same period, the EPO will accept early requests for unitary effects, thus giving applicants the possibility to shift administrative work for unitary protection to before the effective date of entry of the Unified Patent.
The formal conditions for these early requests for unitary effect comprise: The notification according to R71(3)EPC has to be issued. While the request can be filed by other means, it is strongly recommended to file it online using the corresponding form UP7000.
Please bear in mind that these measures are not yet in force, but depend on the date at which Germany ratifies the agreement on a Unified Patent Court.
This IP Alert is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.