While the European unitary patent is intended to guarantee supranational protection for inventions, the agreement to establish the Unified Patent Court (UPC) still has to be ratified by several Member States.
The unitary patent will bring some significant changes. Patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) will be directly valid in all participating countries. Until now, there have been different rules and procedures for national validation of patents granted by the EPO. As a result, only a very low number of patents on seeds, for instance, have been validated in several countries. In the future, a strong increase in the number of patents valid in participating countries (in this and other sectors) can be expected. This may lead to over-patenting in sensitive areas such as agriculture, and to a bigger playing field for so-called patent trolls.
Does the Commission expect a delay in the ratification process for the UPC in light of Brexit?
Does it expect a strong, or possibly even an extreme, increase in the number of patents valid in several countries as a result of the unitary patent?
What measures is it taking to prevent over-patenting in sensitive areas such as agriculture and seed production?