23 June 23 | Lisboa
Unitary Patent System

On June 1st, the Unitary Patent System came into force, valid for the time being in 17 Member States, with others expected to join in as well.

This new system aims to simplify the procedure for granting patents through its total centralization. The procedure will now be carried out through a single application, with the payment of a single legal fee and without the need for validation in each Member State. 

The Unitary Patent entails less bureaucratization and a cost reduction of the procedure (a patent for 10 years will cost less than 5.000€), as well as a 40% reduction of the fees for small and medium companies. Additionally, it is no longer necessary to submit multiple translations.

The Unitary Patent system will operate in parallel with the existing centralised European model for granting patents, with the possibility of choosing either one or the other, or a combination of the two systems. 

Consequently, it will be possible to apply for a Unitary Patent in tandem with the validation of the European patent in other Contracting States to the European Patent Convention (EPC) which do not participate in the new system or have not yet joined the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.

The Unified Patent Court has exclusive jurisdiction for disputes concerning European patents with unitary effect and European patents granted in accordance with the EPC. Portugal has also inaugurated a local division of the UPC on June 2nd, with its head office in the Intellectual Property Court building. 

These changes are particularly significant for Portugal, as the country has seen a 13.9% increase in applications in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the European Patent Office, representing the strongest growth in Europe.



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