Is your patent monitoring ready for the unitary patent?

The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court are on the way, but what does this mean for your company? Our Partner Steen Østergaard recommends examining your patent monitoring, to secure the future of your business.

When the new Unified Patent Court enters into force, we will have an alternative to the existing courts in the field of enforcement and invalidation of European patents. Also, we get the Unitary Patent, which will make it cheaper and easier to administer your patent in Europe, as you do not have to validate and translate your patent in the individual countries. We do not know the starting date yet, but the Unified Patent Court is expected to enter into force within the next year (late 2022/early 2023).

Although the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court are highlighted as a faster and cheaper system than the current one, there are some areas that especially smaller Danish companies need to be aware of.

– The price for the renewal of the Unitary Patent will correspond approximately to the price of renewing four national patents. For a small Danish company, which is only present in few foreign market, e.g., Germany and the UK, it may be worthwhile to simply use national validation, says Steen Østergaard, Partner and European Patent Attorney at Guardian IP Consulting

The unitary patent covers +17 European countries, which means that the more of these markets your company operates in, the larger the advantage of the Unitary Patent will be. The same applies to the Unified Patent Court.

Read more: Unitary Patent (UP) & Unified Patent Court (UPC)

If your company is facing a counterparty that infringes your Unitary Patent in several countries, you will be able to enforce your patent in these countries with a single legal action

Steen Østergaard
Partner and European Patent Attorney at Guardian IP Consulting

Several new patents will cover Denmark

Steen Østergaard estimates that only around 10% of European patents are validated in Denmark today. Up to 90% of the issued European patents therefore never take effect in Denmark or in other smaller European countries. This changes with the Unitary Patent, where a much higher number of European patents are expected to cover Denmark and the other small countries that participate in the UPC system.

– We advise our clients to monitor which European patents are granted. If they are registered as Unitary Patents, they also cover Denmark, and it is therefore crucial that Danish companies have exhaustive patent monitoring, to be able to file oppositions against problematic patents. Therefore, it is even more important to be proactive in relation to patent monitoring, and many of the small and medium-sized companies are unfortunately not aware of this, says Steen Østergaard.

But what does it require for a company to scan the patent landscape efficiently and ensure comprehensive patent monitoring? Steen Østergaard emphasizes that companies must start by trying to predict which product types, processes, and technologies they will need with in the future. This will ensure that your patent monitoring is designed to cover your company’s future plans.

– To secure effective monitoring, you must also ensure that the employees who perform the monitoring have knowledge of the interpretation of patent claims and a good understanding of the company’s business and technological plans, he says.

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Please feel free to contact us. Guardian has one of Denmark’s largest and strongest teams of European Patent Attorneys and European Design Attorneys providing expertise in diverse technical fields. Reach out for us for a non-binding conversation.

E-mail: mail@gipc.eu

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