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The unitary patent, an opt-out and a referral to the European Court of Human Rights

EU flagCould the proposed unitary patent system result in a referral to the European Court of Human Rights? Bear with me for a second while we fire up the flux capacitor and travel back in time.

It’s now 26 June 2007. Rihanna and Jay-Z are riding high in the charts with Umbrella and it’s a Tuesday. One of your clients comes to discuss the filing of their new patent application in Europe. After explaining the European patent process to your client and lamenting the fact that there’s no way of getting a single patent that covers Europe in some sort of unitary sense, your client instructs you to file a new EP patent application. Being the hyper-efficient patent attorney that you are you get the case on file later that day and settle back to a few months of discussion with the Examiner before the inevitable grant.

Time to jump back in the Delorean and fast forward 9 (!) years.