Europeans To Create "Unitary Patent"

The European Parliament is expect to vote on the creation of a "unitary patent" system on February 18, 2013. Unlike the classical European Patent created by the European Patent Convention (EPC), a unitary European patent would be centraly administered at the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO would collect annual renewal fees and distribute them to member nations. A unitary patent would not need to be "validated" and translated into national languages which is required under the current European patent system. Apart from this, the unitary patent will be essentially identical in all other respects to patents under the EPC and will even be administered by the EPO. Further centralizing the patent system in Europe is expected to dramatically increase efficiency and lower costs for European patentees.