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The New Patent Law in New Zealand

European Union Parliament Approves Unitary European Patent/Unified European Patent Court Package

6 years ago


December 11, 2012

The European Parliament in Strasbourg today approved the EU patent package, providing for a unitary European patent, language regime and patent court.

The resulting system is expected to reduce European patent costs by up to 80% or more, making European patent protection substantially more attractive to intellectual property owners.  The European Commission projected that when fully implemented, average EU patent costs may be on the order of €4725 (about $6100 US at today’s exchange rate).  The unitary European patent will provide protection in all 25 participating member states (Italy and Spainhave not yet joined, but may do so at any point in time).

Applications for unitary European patent must be made in one of the official languages (English, German, or French), and patents will be made available in the official languages.  The new system provides for translation costs to be fully reimbursed for EU-based small and medium enterprises, nonprofit entities, universities, and public research organizations, as well as providing for renewal fees to be set at a level meeting the needs of such small and medium enterprises.

The unitary European patent, language regime, and patent court provisions will enter into force on the latter of January 1, 2014 or the date on which the international agreement creating the unified European patent court becomes effective, by ratification of at least 13 contracting states, including UK, France and Germany.

Steven J. Hultquist


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