Searching and retrieving Unitary Patent information

Focus on Espacenet

Using the C0 marker to find UP-related information in Espacenet. 

With the arrival of the Unitary Patent (UP) system, more UP-related data is becoming visible and searchable in the EPO’s patent information services. In a series of articles entitled “Searching and retrieving Unitary Patent information”, we will showcase the different patent information tools and services to demonstrate how you can find and retrieve the UP data you are looking for. This is the second article in this series and this time the focus is on Espacenet. 

In Espacenet, you can search for registered Unitary Patents using the “C0” marker. It is not a kind code as such, but you can use it to search for European patents with unitary effect. 

The registration of unitary effect in respect of a European patent will appear in Espacenet once this information has been published in the European Patent Bulletin. This occurs four weeks after the publication in the Register. 

We have illustrated below a search for Unitary Patents in the domain of surgical instruments, devices or methods. The query A61B17 AND pn=EPC0 retrieved 191 families (hit count on 30 October 2023).  

Bibliographic data view of EP-C0 records in EspacenetFig. 1. Bibliographic data view of an EP-C0 record illustrating the EP-A origin of the abstract and the EP-B origin of the drawings. 

A Unitary Patent is not a publication in its own right. Instead, the Bibliographic data view of the EP-C0 record displays the bibliographic data of the EP-B document (granted European patent), and the abstract of the corresponding EP-A or Euro-PCT (WO) publication, the corresponding patent application. The Description, Claims, Drawings and Original document views display the corresponding information from EP-B publication. 

You will see that a Unitary Patent hyperlink is displayed in the Bibliographic data view next to a blue icon which symbolises Unitary Patents in Espacenet and the Register. You will also find this link in the Description and Claims views. 

The Unitary Patent hyperlink is displayed in the Bibliographic data, Descriptions and Claims views. It takes you to UP-related procedural and legal information in the Unitary Patent Register of the European Patent Register.Fig.  2. Bibliographic data view of an EP-C0 record 

This link will lead you directly to the Unitary Patent Register section of the European Patent Register, where you will find all Unitary Patent-related procedural and legal events. 

The Unitary Patent Register displays all legal and procedural information related to Unitary Patents.Fig. 3. Unitary Patent Register section in the Register 

You will also find legal events associated with Unitary Patents in the Espacenet Legal events view. 

Legal and procedural information related to Unitary Patents is displayed in the Legal events view of Espacenet.Fig. 4. Legal events view of an EP-C0 record 

Keywords: Unitary Patent, C0 marker, Espacenet