European Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

A new international jurisdiction common to the signatory States and complementary to the European patent system, with unitary effect.

  • The European Unitary Patent: A simplified procedure
    Before the entry into force of the UPC and the European patent with unitary effect, it was possible to file national or European patents to protect one’s inventions. Today, the Unitary Patent makes it possible to obtain a patent that is recognised throughout the territory of the signatory states at a fixed price.

  • The UPC has a dual objective: To guarantee the consistency of patent law jurisprudence throughout Europe and to increase legal certainty
    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) was conceived to homogenise the validity of patents on a European scale and to simplify the management of infringement litigation.
    UPC decisions are now applicable to EU Member States that have ratified the Agreement of 19 February 2013 (UPC Agreement).

Structure of the UPC

The UPC consists of a court of first instance, a court of appeal, and a registry, together with an arbitration and mediation centre.

JUB - Lavoix

EPO Source

How does this change your IP rights?

  • Reduced costs: You won’t need to launch parallel procedures in different Member States (translations, taxes, etc.)

  • Expanded territory of protection
  • Saves time
  • Better resolution of patent disputes in Europe with the help of qualified, specialised judges

  • European case law: Increased legal certainty for all users through uniform enforceability


The UPC has exclusive and automatic jurisdiction over patent infringement and invalidity (stay-in).

However, during a transitional period of 7 years, which may be extended, holders of (non-unitary) European patents will be able to opt out from it, unless litigation before the UPC has already been initiated.

During this period:

  • Your actions for invalidity or infringement may be brought before the national courts
  • For any application filed or patent granted before the end of the transitional period, you can notify the UPC registry to request an opt-out from its jurisdiction, unless an action has already been brought before the UPC.


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