As you may remember, legislative changes that have been expected for decades are currently underway across the European Union, in order to establish what is now called the European patent with unitary effect (which we will abbreviate as “unitary patent”). .
The unitary patent is intended to implement a single title valid throughout the European Union and for which infringement disputes may be ruled ar an European scale, contrary to the “classic” European patent for which at the end of the procedure for grant, the right holder obtains several independent territorial rights, within the competence of eah national jurisdiction.
The prerequisites for the entry into force of the unitary patent and of the unified court are almost all achieved with the exception of the ratification of Germany where a constitutional problem has been raised.
In these circumstances, the impact of Brexit could have caused great upheaval, but the British government announced that Brexit will have no influence on the unitary patent as already presented in our posts. The agreement on the Unified Patent Court was ratified by the United Kingdom on April 26, 2018.
However, the unitary patent is intended to cover the European Union only, which raises the question of the validity of the unitary patent in the United Kingdom.
The most likely solution will be to get closer to what will happen for the EU trade mark after the Brexit, as already discussed in our brief concerning the agreement protocol of 19 March 2019 on the application of Brexit. As you may remember, the EU trade mark will become a comparable English mark and its validity will be linked to that of the EU trade mark.
It therefore appears that the likely outcome will be the following: the European patent with unitary effect will have effect in EU countries, and will be validated in a conventional manner in non-EU states that are party to the European Patent Convention such as already today Switzerland and Turkey, and later the United Kingdom.
To follow closely …