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The landscape of intellectual property protection in Europe is undergoing a revolutionary transformation with the introduction of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent system. This ground-breaking development marks a significant step towards harmonizing patent litigation and simplifying the patent process across many member states of the European Union. Designed to bolster innovation and streamline patent protection across Europe, these initiatives promise to change the way inventors and businesses protect their inventions.

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The Unified Patent Court: Streamlining Patent Litigation

The UPC is a single, specialized patent court for Europe. It offers a centralized forum for the enforcement and litigation of patents. This means that patent holders and applicants will no longer have to navigate the complexities and high costs of multiple litigation processes in different national courts. Instead, they can resolve disputes under a unified legal system, ensuring more consistent and efficient rulings.

The Unitary Patent: A Singular Approach to Patent Protection
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Complementing the UPC, the Unitary Patent system introduces a unified patent protection mechanism across the participating EU member states. Under this system, inventors can apply for a single patent that offers protection in all participating countries. This contrasts starkly with the previous regime, where patents had to be validated in each country individually after being granted (approved) by the European Patent Office. The Unitary Patent simplifies the process, reduces costs, and enhances legal certainty, making it an attractive option for businesses and innovators seeking broad patent protection in Europe.

Benefits and Opportunities

The combination of the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent system presents numerous benefits. It significantly reduces the administrative and financial burden on patent applicants, fosters a more innovation-friendly environment, and enhances the legal certainty of patent protection across Europe. These changes are not only beneficial for current patent holders but also for future innovators and businesses planning to expand their patent portfolios in Europe.


The introduction of the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent system marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of patent law in Europe. It reflects a commitment to creating a more cohesive, cost-effective, and efficient system for protecting intellectual property. 

As a law firm, Sonnenberg Harrison has embraced this new era. Many of our attorneys have obtained qualifications as European Patent Litigators and we are advising clients worldwide to protect their invention to enhance innovation and economic growth.

Our UPC Specialists


Patent and Trademark Attorney


Patent and Trademark Attorney


Attorney-at-Law (Germany)


European Patent Attorney


Attorney-at-Law (Germany)


Patent and Trademark Attorney


Patent Attorney


Patent and Trademark Attorney

Learn more about UPC

Birth of Unitary (European) Patent System

The Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application (PPA) has entered into force on 19 January 2022 following the deposit of the instrument of ratification by Austria.

This event marks the start of the Provisional Application Period (PAP) and the birth of the Unified Patent Court as an international organization.

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Our focus is a comprehensive and solution-focussed advice in theidl of intellectual property and technology law. Questions about technology and law, patents, trademarks, design rights or copyright protection? Or would you like to organise an initial, informal meeting? Get in contact by using our contact form, write us an email or simply telephone us – our patent attorneys and lawyers will get back as soon as possible.