After over 40 years of false starts we now have a new legal framework providing for the possibility of obtaining a Unitary Patent with Europe-wide effect, which can be litigated across its entire geographic scope in one central court. Whilst the UK government has welcomed the new framework as an efficient and cost saving one said to make enforcement of patents easier in Europe, it has faced criticism by many patent owners and patent professionals.
Although no definite date has been fixed for its introduction it is likely that the new system will come into effect in 2015. It is important that all organisations which already have European patent protection in place and/or are considering applying for new or additional patent protection are aware of the development and consider the potential impact of it upon them and their patenting strategy.
On March 5, 2013