The Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology recently hosted a program to explore significant changes underway for the European patent landscape. At this program, Dr. Christoph Cordes, Partner at the German law firm Esche Schümann Commichau, presented an overview of the new European Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court, and was joined by several panelists in a discussion about the anticipated impact of this new European patent regime.
The Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court are developments undertaken by the European Commission to achieve a more uniform approach to patent protection in member states within the European Union (EU). In order to take effect, an underlying Agreement on the Unified Patent Court must be ratified by 13 of the 25 member states of the EU (including Germany, France, and Great Britain). Eight member states, including France, have presently ratified the Agreement, which is expected to take effect by early 2017. Implementing Regulations for the Unitary Patent have also been promulgated.