After nearly 40 years of debate, 25 European states have now agreed that a new European unitary patent will be introduced in the next few years. This will bring about the most significant change ever seen in the patent regime in Europe.
Once the unitary patent system is in force, businesses will be able to obtain patents with automatic effect across virtually the whole of Europe, which can be enforced in one court action in a central Unified Patent Court (UPC). If it achieves its objective, the new system will make patenting and patent enforcement much more affordable to businesses in Europe.
Olivia Perrot, Associate in the IP and Life Science team at Stevens & Bolton LLP, takes a look at the current system and the practical impact the new unitary patent system may bring in an article featured in Innovations in Pharmaceutical Technology (IPT) magazine.