Options available for Spanish businesses with the new unitary patent. Part 3
Although Spain does not participate in the enhanced cooperation for the creation of European patents with unitary effect, Spanish companies can own unitary patents and may need to litigate at the UPC.
Furthermore, the UPC Agreement is open to accession by any Member State, so Spain may come to form part of the new system in the future.
In short, once the unitary patent system comes into force, the following applications may be filed for Spain:
- A national patent;
- A “classic” European patent (validated, for example in Spain + Germany + France).
- A unitary patent that has also been validated in one or more Munich Convention signatory States that are not participants in the unitary patent system (for example a unitary patent + Spain).
- How much will it cost?
Since a European patent with unitary effect can only be obtained following the grant of a “classic” European patent at the EPO, the costs associated with the grant will not vary with respect to the current system. What will change will be the renewal costs, that is, the annual fees, which are expected to be equivalent to the costs of maintaining 4 national validations of the “classic” European patent (Germany, France, United Kingdom and the Netherlands). The system will therefore involve a reduction of costs for patent holders that intend to operate in more than four European markets.
- How can we help you?
Garrigues can help you to design the best patent prosecution strategy, choosing the type of protection that is most advantageous case-by-case, preparing reports on: patentability, freedom to operate, infringement and/or validity.
We can also help you create a litigation strategy at the Unified Patent Court.
Our team, operating in various offices in Spain and Europe, is comprised of lawyers with vast experience in patent litigation, mediation and arbitration, and of engineers and biochemists who are European patent attorneys at the EPO, enabling us to offer our clients an in-depth knowledge of the patented technology.
Garrigues Intellectual Property Department