Challenges ahead for the European Unified Patent System
Starting in June, the EU will introduce the European Unified Patent System, providing a unified approach to patent protection across member states and reducing costs associated with protecting inventions. However, some big companies are sceptical about the new system’s effectiveness, given that only 17 of the 27 member states are participating.
Starting in June, the European Union will introduce the European Unified Patent System, providing a unified approach to patent protection across member states and reducing costs associated with protecting inventions. Instead of filing for patents or legal remedies in individual nations, businesses and individuals can rely on a single, comprehensive patent that covers most of Europe and the Unified Patent Court to enforce it.
However, some big companies are sceptical about the new system’s effectiveness, given that only 17 of the 27 member states are participating. While the European Round Table for Industry has urged caution, saying that the system must first demonstrate its effectiveness and competitiveness in terms of the costs for applicants.
The EU is lagging behind in registering intellectual property, as evidenced by the fact that only a small percentage of the 3.4 million patent filings in 2021 came from the EU member states. China accounts for the largest filings, followed by the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Despite the EU’s strength in research, it has struggled to translate this into market success, losing billions of euros. BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller believes the EU’s single market could be the key to unlocking its potential and overcoming these challenges.
Previously, in March, the European Patent Office (EPO) President and the European Commissioner for Internal Market signed a working arrangement in line with the EU Regulation 1257/2012, Article 14, on European patents with a unitary effect, as part of an ongoing effort to create a single market. The arrangement aims to promote collaboration and encourage the exchange of ideas between the two institutions to maximise the benefits of the Unitary Patent system and promote its widespread adoption. By working together, the EPO and the European Commission hope to ensure that the system operates smoothly and efficiently and delivers the anticipated benefits to businesses and individuals seeking patent protection.