European unitary patent system concludes its first year

The European Patent Office (EPO)'s Unitary Patent system is considered a success by the European Commission, which cites the more than 27000 patents registered through it.
Marton Kottmayer,

The unitary patent system, after many years of preparation, came into force on 1 January last year. It aims to strengthen the European Single Market, by providing patents that are applicable across all participating member states, as opposed to traditional patents that require validation and maintenance in each country they are applied in. A recent communication by the European Commission reviews the first year of the system, and provides insights into how European inventors engaged with it.

According to the Commission, more than 27000 patents were registered by the EPO last year. Denmark and Poland leads the list of the highest application rates: half of all patents were made through the unitary patent system. The average uptake rate across participating member stater however, is lower – with approximately a quarter of all patents, 23% goes through EPO. With regards to discipline, the most patents awarded through the unitary system are related to medical technologies.

There are currently 17 countries participating in the unitary patent system, however European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton called for additional member states to join in the near future. Romania is set to be the next participating member, joining in September 2024.

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