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Unitary patent protection

Commission proposes unitary patent protection to boost research and innovation

Under the new proposals, the cost for a European patent with unitary effect in 25 Member States would be €680, after a transitional period during which costs would still be less than €2500.

The Commission proposes that:

  • Holders of European patents can apply for unitary patent protection for the territory of 25 Member States at the EPO. The patent will ensure the same level of protection for their inventions in all 25 countries.
  • Patent applications can be submitted in any language, however, building on its existing working procedures, the EPO will continue to examine and grant applications in English, French or German (the official languages of the EPO). For applicants residing in the EU who file their patent application in a language other than the three EPO languages, the cost of translation to one of the official languages of the EPO will be compensated. Finally, after the patent is granted, the patent claims, defining the scope of the protection, are to be translated to the other 2 official languages of the EPO.
  • For a transitional period of maximum 12 years, European patents with unitary effect that were granted in French or German will need to be translated to English. The ones granted in English will need to be translated to another official language of the EU. These translations will be required until high-quality machine translation becomes available to ensure the accessibility of patent information. The additional translations during the transitional period will directly help the development of high-quality machine translations.