TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Unitary Patent is expected to start operating on June 1st, 2023. By submitting a single request to the EPO, it will be possible to obtain patent protection in 17 EU states at the outset.
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is an international court set up by participating EU Member States to deal with the infringement and validity of both Unitary Patents and "classical" European patents.
Currently (March 2023), the Sunrise period has started. Assignees of current ALIVE EP applications (granted or pending) can decide if:
- the national validations of the EP patent will fall under the UPC juridiction, even if the granted patent remains "standard" => for the 17 countries, any litigations will be handled by the UPC. There is no change for other countries.
- the national validations will remain out of the UPC jurisdiction (=no change with the current EP patent system), by recording this willingness with an opt-out.
There are 4 possible types of status:
- Unitary patent: registered: the new European patent with unitary effect (from June 1st).
- European patent: opt-out: European patent for which the applicant asked to opt-out from the Unified Patent Court jurisdiction.
- European patent: not opted out: European patents for which opt-out from the Unified Patent Court has not applied by the applicant, or has been withdrawn.
- European patent: withdrawn only: European patents which have been opted-out and where the applicant then has withdrawn the opt-out.
You can search for these in the new advanced search form (currently in beta on beta.orbit.com) , or you can use Questel command language to search in command line.
Questel database is now ready to provide you with the data, even if the EPO has indicated the non-availability of the opt-out/withdraw even in the regular data providing system. Our commitment to provide you the best data in a reasonable time remains.
The EP register is updated twice a week. Our Legal Status database LGST is updated once a week, with the following impact:
- Data updates are run on Sundays
- Data introduced is published on EP register during the past week
Unitary patent publications (EP C0) will be introduced as any other bibliographic data, once a week in our FAMPAT database.
New Advanced Search Form
In the new advanced search form, you can find a field called Unified Patent Court.
In this field you can search the four possible statuses.
Command Line Search
To search for information related to the Unitary Patent with the command line, you can use the following options.
Unitary patent: registered
This is identified in the patent number field with the kind code C0 combined with the EP country code
European patent: opt-out
This can be searched in the ACT index which is the legal status collection of FamPat and FullPat databases. A new event code - UPO – which in command line is searched as follows:
European patent: not opted out
To search for European patents not opted out from the unitary patent, you limit your search to alive EP patents excluding those that have been opted out (or opted-out and withdrawn, here the second part with UPW).
(((PC/ACT=EP P STATE/ACT=ALIVE) NOT (CO/ACT=EP/UPO)) OR ((PC/ACT=EP P STATE/ACT=ALIVE) AND (CO/ACT=EP/UPW)))
European patent: withdrawn only
To search for European patents that have previously had an opt-out from the Unitary Patent, and later have withdrawn from the opt-out, a new event code – UPW – has been created. You search it with the command line as follows: