Insights European Patent Office updates its Unitary Patent Guide and publishes consolidated version of Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection


The EPO’s updated Unitary Patent Guide aims to provide businesses, inventors and their representatives with an outline of the procedure involved in obtaining a Unitary Patent once the EPO has granted the corresponding European patent under the European Patent Convention. The Guide also gives a practical overview of the Unitary Patent system and provides useful information on how to file a request for unitary protection. It also looks at other procedures relating to Unitary Patents, such as the compensation scheme for translation costs and registering a statement on licences of right. It also sets out information on how to pay renewal fees.

In 2015, the Select Committee of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation adopted two pieces of secondary legislation on implementation of the Unitary Patent at the EPO: the Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection and the Rules relating to Fees for Unitary Patent Protection.

Following amendments made to the Rules and adopted by the Select Committee in December 2021 and March 2022 (Rules 16(1)(i), (w) and (x)), the EPO has now published a consolidated version of the amended Rules in the April issue of its Official Journal.

The EPO says that in order to provide users with an overview of the most important secondary legislation relating to the Unitary Patent, the Rules on Fees for Unitary Patent Protection have also been re-published in the same edition of the Official Journal. They have not been amended since their adoption in 2015 and were last published in the Official Journal in 2016.

The EPO says that the Unitary Patent system is expected to become operational in the second half of 2022. To access the EPO’s updated guide, click here. To access the consolidated Rules as published in the Official Journal, click here.