European Commission Releases Draft Regulations Governing Unitary Patent Protection

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Under the Commission’s proposals, holders of European patents would be allowed to apply to the European Patent Office for unitary patent protection covering the participating 25 Member States. The unitary patent could only lapse, be revoked or be transferred in respect of those 25 Member States as a whole.

On 13 April 2011, the European Commission released two draft regulations: a draft regulation of the European Parliament and the Council implementing enhanced cooperation for creation of unitary patent protection, and a draft Council regulation relating to applicable translation arrangements for the unitary patent protection.

The proposed unitary patent right would be valid in 25 of the 27 EU Member States. It is hoped that the outstanding two Member States (Italy and Spain) will in due course join in the enhanced cooperation as well, per the Commission’s explicit statement.

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