​​Romania to join Unitary Patent system on 1 September 2024​

Unitary Patent Isometric law

​​Just in time for the first anniversary of the Unitary Patent system, Romania has deposited its instrument of ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) with the Council of the European Union in Brussels. The EPO will offer users the flexibility for them to benefit from the broader scope of protection that the Unitary Patent provides as a result.​ 

Romania will join the Unitary Patent system with effect from 1 September 2024. This follows the deposit of its instrument of ratification of the UPCA on 31 May 2024. All European patents taking up unitary effect from 1 September will automatically cover Romania. The number of EU Member States participating in the Unitary Patent system will therefore increase to 18, covering an additional market of some 19 million people. 

Completing its ratification process on the eve of the first anniversary of the Unitary Patent system demonstrates the Romanian government’s awareness of the benefits of the new patent system for the country’s innovating businesses”, said EPO President António Campinos. “It also underlines the relevance of the new patent system for all EU Member States looking to participate in the internal market for technologies and so to further European economic integration.

In the first year since the Unitary Patent became a reality on 1 June 2023, the EPO received 28 450 requests for unitary effect and registered almost 27 700 Unitary Patents. Since the beginning of the year, this means that almost one in four European patents granted has been converted into a Unitary Patent.   

The Unitary Patent system offers lower costs, a streamlined procedure, uniform protection and greater legal certainty. Inventors can apply for and maintain patent protection, pay renewal fees and register subsequent transactions (such as the granting of licences) at the EPO as a central one-stop shop. This means that inventors no longer have to deal with many different national procedures in parallel. All these benefits make the Unitary Patent an attractive option, especially to SMEs. 

In order for users to benefit from the territorial scope of the Unitary Patent covering Romania, the EPO will accept requests for a delay of the registration of unitary effect under the conditions set in the dedicated notice (see below).