Wednesday, 7 May 2014

EPO board issues a statement on the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.

The Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB) of the EPO has issued a statement on the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.

The statement is generally positive, and points out a number of advantages of the new system. According to the Board:

Benefits of the unitary patent include:
  • Administrative simplification of patenting in Europe, 
  • Potential for saving costs, including validation, translation, and post-grant administration costs, 
  • Geographic extension of patent protection. 
 Benefits of the unified patent court include:
  • Reduction in the high cost of enforcement for firms that validate in many or all member states
  • Developing harmonized and consistent jurisprudence throughout the territory of the member states

Concerns include
  • Unitary patent renewal fees and the costs related to litigation before the Unified Patent Court
  • Increased complexity due to the additional tier added to the patent system
  • Non-Practising Entities may become more active in Europe

The findings of the Board are based on a workshop they organized in December 2013, and a study they commissioned to Europe Economics.

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