EU: The end of the “Sunrise Period”


The end of the “Sunrise Period”

The entry into force of the unitary patent has been discussed for some time. However, there seems to exist still a certain degree of unawareness regarding this issue among a large number of European patent owners.

Making a brief summary, and in broad terms, it can be said that the unitary patent is sustained on two fundamental pillars:

- The creation of a European patent with unitary effect in all the participating countries, and

- The creation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), with exclusive jurisdiction for disputes related not only to these new unitary patents, but also to “classic” European patents, both future and existing ones.

In relation to the first topic, the European patent with unitary effect, owners with patents granted after June 1st can request before the European Patent Office (EPO) the unitary effect of their patents in all the countries that have ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) at that time. To date, they are 17: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden. The request for the unitary effect has to be filed within one month from grant, and will comprise just one request and a unified annuity payment.

  read more