Register for Unitary Patent Protection.

The Unitary Patent system, together with the Unified Patent Court, is soon to come into effect, but what information will be available at the EPO, both for your own patents and if you are monitoring third party patents?


Article 2(e) Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 specifies that "Register for unitary patent protection means the register constituting part of the European Patent Register in which the unitary effect and any limitation, licence, transfer, revocation or lapse of a European patent with unitary effect are registered."


The participating Member States have assigned the EPO, under Article 9(1)(b) Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012, with the task of inclusion and administration of this Register for unitary patent protection within the European Patent Register.


A Register for unitary patent protection has been set up as an integral, but separate, part of the European Patent Register already kept by the EPO (see Rule 15 UPR). The Register for unitary patent protection has the same basic structure and functionality as the European Patent Register.


The Register for unitary patent protection contains all the entries that are expressly but not exhaustively listed in Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012. Rule 16(1) UPR sets out, in detail, that the following information that must be contained on the Register for unitary patent protection:


(a) date of publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent;

(b) date of filing of the request for unitary effect for the European patent;

(c) particulars of the representative of the proprietor of the European patent as provided for in Rule 41, paragraph 2(d), EPC; in the case of several representatives, only the particulars of the representative first named, followed by the words "and others" and, in the case of an association referred to in Rule 152, paragraph 11, EPC, only the name and address of the association;

(d) date and purport of the decision on the registration of unitary effect for the European patent;

(e) date of registration of the unitary effect of the European patent;

(f) date of effect of the European patent with unitary effect pursuant to Article 4, paragraph 1, Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012;

(g) participating Member States in which the European patent with unitary effect has unitary effect pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 2, Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012;

(h) particulars of the proprietor of the European patent with unitary effect as provided for in Rule 41, paragraph 2(c), EPC;

(i) family name, given names and country and place of residence of the inventor designated by the applicant for or proprietor of the patent, unless the inventor(s) has / have waived their right to be mentioned under Rule 20, paragraph 1, EPC;

(j) rights and transfer of such rights relating to the European patent with unitary effect where the present Rules provide that they shall be recorded at the request of an interested party;

(k) licensing commitments undertaken by the proprietor of the European patent with unitary effect in international standardisation bodies pursuant to Article 9, paragraph 1(c), Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012, where the proprietor requested their registration;

(l) date of filing and date of withdrawal of the statement provided for in Rule 12;

(m) date of lapse of the European patent with unitary effect;

(n) data as to the payment of renewal fees for the European patent with unitary effect, including, where applicable, data on the payment of an additional fee pursuant to Rule 13, paragraph 3;

(o) a record of the information communicated to the European Patent Office concerning proceedings before the Unified Patent Court;

(p) a record of the information communicated to the European Patent Office by the central industrial property offices, courts and other competent authorities of the participating Member States;

(q) date and purport of the decision on the validity of a European patent with unitary effect taken by the Unified Patent Court;

(r) date of receipt of a request for re-establishment of rights;

(s) refusal of a request for re-establishment of rights;

(t) date of re-establishment of rights;

(u) dates of interruption and resumption of proceedings;

(v) date of issuance, date of expiry and date and purport of the decision on the validity of a supplementary protection certificate for a product protected by the European patent with unitary effect as well as the participating Member State issuing it;

(w) information regarding a place of business of the applicant on the date of filing of the application for the European patent pursuant to Article 7, paragraph 1(b), Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012, which may be provided by the proprietor of the European patent together with the request for unitary effect referred to in Rule 6.

(x) information regarding the residence or principal place of business of the applicant on the date of filing of the application for the European patent pursuant to Article 7, paragraph 1(a), Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012.


A European patent with unitary effect will be dealt with as a national patent of the participating Member State and this will be determined using the applicant's residence, principal place of business or place of business. The applicant may voluntarily provide this information with the request for unitary effect referred to in Rule 6.


What you need to know...


The Register for unitary patent protection, by following the format of the European Patent Register already kept by the EPO, will be a useful tool in investigating European patents with unitary effect.


This article continues FRKelly's series of articles covering the upcoming UP/UPC. For an overview on the Unitary Patent, check out David Brophy's article here, or Donal Kelly's article on how to apply for a Unitary Patent here.  Make sure to keep up with all the articles on the topic on this page. 

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