Intellectual Property Law

New Matter SPRING 2016, Volume 41, Number 1

The European Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court System: What’s in it for U.S. Users?

RAIMUND LUTZ

European Patent Office

INTRODUCTION

FOR MANY DECADES, USERS OF THE European patent system complained about the fact that there was no unitary patent in Europe, and no common European patent court. While the European Patent Convention (EPC) established a common application, examination, and grant procedure which is executed by the European Patent Office (EPO), once the EPO grants a European patent for up to forty-two states1 with the general effects of a national patent granted by these states, the centralised procedure comes to an end (although it is still possible for an opposition to be filed within the first nine months after grant of the patent2).

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