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Unitary Patent Package – Timeline of events for 2013/2014

EU flagThe much heralded unitary patent package* appears to be moving towards implementation after many years of proposal and counter-proposal.

Looking ahead, the various parts of the package are likely to come into force in 2014 (according to the official timescale anyway). Over the coming 12-24 months, there are a number of keys dates to note.


Why Malta could inadvertently block your unitary patent

MaltaYou may have noticed that over here at IPCopy, we’ve been playing with the Unitary Patent Regulation, and testing it to its limits. We’ve already noted some quirks, including the fact that a patentee could potentially opt out of the unified patent court until 2047, and that if an infringement action is brought by an exclusive licensee, bifurcation is all but forced on the defendant.

But this is perhaps the one that’s baked IPCopy’s collective noodle the most so far: assuming that ratification (of the unified patent court agreement) proceeds in time for the Unitary Patent Regulation to come into force 1 January 2014, it appears to us that around one third of the patents that grant that year, and potentially even as many as half, will not actually be eligible for unitary patent protection*.

“How can this be?” I hear you cry! Well it’s all Malta’s “fault”, and here’s why… [we cannot help but think we’ve missed something in the analysis below so feel free to chip in with your thoughts in the comments section!]


Unitary Patent Package – Final texts

Europe flagThe final text of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court has now been published by the Council of the European Union. The two regulations relating to the unitary patent have already been published. Links to all three documents are below and also on our unitary patent package page.

1) Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection – here.

2) Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements – here.

3) Agreement on a Unified Patent Court – here. Corrections to Agreement here and here.

Mark Richardson     17 January 2013

Unitary Patent Package – Q&A

Europe flag

This is IPcopy’s original Q&A post on the unitary patent package (published 20 December 2012). A more recent and updated version of this post, which was published on 10 April 2013, can be found here.


After last week’s vote in the European parliament (Note: this article was published 20 December 2012), it seems that the unitary European patent really is here to stay. Many of the finer details are yet to be sorted out, and there is plenty of speculation in the patent world right now as to how things will pan out over the next few years. But there’s also plenty that we now know for sure about how the unitary patent will work, and how it might begin to affect your IP decisions, so here on IPCopy are the answers to your burning questions (grab a hot beverage of your choice and get comfy – it’s a long one…!):