Unitary Patent information in patent knowledge
The introduction of the Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is creating new data relating to unitary effect. This data is curated and reported in EPO patent information tools and services, providing users with an additional layer of patent information. To help users recognise UP-related information in patent knowledge products, a new marker – "C0" – signals those patents for which unitary effect has been registered. The European Patent Register and Espacenet also display a blue icon () to indicate that unitary effect has been requested or registered for a given patent application.
Overview of UP-related information in patent knowledge
This infographic shows which steps in the life of a Unitary Patent are displayed in EPO data, tools and services. As shown in red, all seven steps are visible in the majority of patent knowledge products (nine).
The table below provides an overview of the most prominent UP-related information in selected EPO patent information data, tools and services:
|Product with information on unitary effect||C0 marker displayed||Search for registered UP||Access
to UP Register
to UP file inspection
|Access to UPC||Legal events|
|DOCDB in XML||yes||no||no||no||no||no|
|Espacenet||yes||yes||yes||yes ||no||yes |
|EP bibliographic data (EBD)||yes||no||no||no||no||yes|
|European Patent Bulletin||yes||yes||no||no||no||yes|
|EP Bulletin Search||no||yes||yes||yes ||yes||yes|
|EP full-text data ||no||no||no||no||no||no|
|EP full-text search||no||no||yes ||yes ||no||yes |
|European Patent Register||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|European Publication Server||no||no||yes ||yes ||no||yes |
|Global Patent Index (GPI)||yes||yes||yes ||yes ||no||yes |
|INPADOC worldwide legal event data||yes||no||no||no||no||yes|
|OPS||yes||yes ||yes ||no||yes ||yes |
-  via UP Register
-  Legal events view
-  for B8 and B9
-  via the Register
-  in Published data and Register services
-  in Register service
-  in OPS Legal and Family services
Unitary Patent in the European Patent Register and European Patent Bulletin
- Unitary Patent in the European Patent Register
Using the European Patent Register, you can search for patents for which unitary effect has been requested or registered.
The Register's navigation bar has a new structure comprising two areas: the European procedure area with submenu items identified by the prefix EP and a new Unitary Patent area with submenu items identified by the prefix UP:
If unitary effect has been requested, the Unitary Patent part will display three submenu items: UP About this file, UP Event history and UP All documents.
You will also notice some changes on the Register's Advanced search interface. Two new search fields are displayed: Unitary effect request date and Unitary effect registration date. To filter on the basis of granted patents for which unitary effect has or has not been requested or registered, use the operators yes or true, or no or false in the respective fields. Alternatively, you can use the date you are interested in to retrieve the relevant patents.
The same can be done using Smart search. For that, you can use two new field identifiers:
- ufd - unitary effect request date
- urd - unitary effect registration date
On the search results list, you will find a new Unitary Patent column. This column displays a blue icon to identify patents for which unitary effect has been requested or registered. Clicking on the blue icon will take you directly to the “UP About this file” panel view of the Unitary Patent Register.Image
A new section in the EP About this file panel view - Opt-out from the exclusive competence of the Unified Patent Court - provides a direct link to the opt-out information held by the UPC.
A record of the information communicated to the European Patent Office concerning proceedings before the Unified Patent Court is provided under Proceedings before the Unified Patent Court in the UP About this file panel view and includes a direct link to the UPC.
- Unitary Patent in the European Patent Bulletin
Information regarding European patents with unitary effect is published in chapter IV of the European Patent Bulletin under the title European patents with unitary effect. You will be able to find most important UP-related legal events here.
Changes, references to deleted data and rectifications relating to previous entries published under IV.1-IV.11 appear in section IV.12 Alterations and Corrections.
A complete overview of chapter IV's contents can be found in the introduction part A of EP Bulletin (Contents). Some additional information about the sections is provided in part D (Supplementary Details).
As the list of legal events that are published in the EP Bulletin's UP chapter is large, amounting to 18 main events and 22 changed or deleted events (IV.12), here are just a few examples of some of them:
IV.1(1) Date of filing of request for unitary effect for the European patent
- Date of receipt of request for unitary effect is indicated below the European publication number, INID code (11).
IV.1(2) Date of withdrawal of request for unitary effect for the European patent
- Date of withdrawal of request for unitary effect is indicated below the European publication number, INID code (11).
IV.2(1) European patents for which unitary effect is registered (C0)
- Date of registration of the unitary effect together with procedural language code is indicated below the European publication number, INID code (11), followed by other relevant bibliographic data.
- Only registered unitary effect entries are published in this section.
IV.2(2) European patents for which a request for unitary effect has been rejected
- Date on which the request for unitary effect was rejected is indicated below the European publication number, INID code (11).
- Only rejected unitary effect entries are published in this section.
Changes and deletions are published in section IV.12.
Specifics on other patent knowledge products
In this chapter you will find more details on further EPO patent information data, tools and services.
- EP Bulletin search
All UP-related information available in the EP bibliographic data (EBD) is searchable in EP Bulletin search. Special UP-related search criteria, such as those listed below, are available to help with query building:
For example, the query UAC = * retrieves all documents where an action has been filed at the UPC.
EP Bulletin search displays all EP- and UP-related information available, for example, side-by-side:
You can also customise the content of your result list by adding columns that include information of interest to you, e.g. UP-related information:
All EP- and UP-related information can be added in the result list for display and download, e.g. in CSV or XML format.
EP Bulletin search also includes a link to the Register.
In Espacenet, you can use the C0 marker to search for EP patents for which unitary effect has been registered with either of the following queries: pn=EPC0 or EPnnnnnnnC0. Use the latter if you want to search for a specific EPC0 number. The C0 marker is used for registered UPs and visible in the result list and document-related views.
You will find a new link next to the blue icon for registered UPs in the Bibliographic data, Description, Claims and INPADOC family views providing access to the UP Register.
An EPC0 has no bibliographic data, description, claims, drawings or original document of its own. Therefore, the Bibliographic data view of the registered UPs (EPC0) displays the data from the EPB document and the abstract from the EPA document; the Description, Claims, Drawings and Original document views display the data from the EPB document.
Use the Legal events view for the legal events relating to the unitary patent.
- Global Patent Index
UP-related information is searchable and displayed in Global Patent Index when available in DOCDB and INPADOC. This information includes registered UPs, that is, patents with EPC0 numbers, and information on participating member states. Global Patent Index also includes a link to the Register.
- The EPO's bulk data sets
UP-related information is available in the following bulk data sets: EBD, Register in Bulk, EP full-text, DOCDB in XML and INPADOC in XML.
EP bibliographic data (EBD)
For European patents with unitary effect the related bibliographic data is stored in a new group tag - B7000 - and includes all the items described in Rule16 UPR and in the Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012. An XML document with kind="C0" & status="u" (for unpublished) is also available with the same bibliographic data as the EP-B document. Opt-out information from the UPC is available under tag B920.
European Patent Register data
All the publicly available procedural information on European patent applications as they pass through each stage of the granting process includes the UP-related events that are also reflected in the European Patent Register data.
EP full-text data
UP-related information is made available in the XML bibliographic data of subsequent publications such as B8 and B9 publications (i.e. presence of an element B7000 plus relevant sub-elements - eventually also B920 including Unified Patent Court opt-out information).
EPO worldwide bibliographic data (DOCDB)
The C0 marker is added as a publication step in the bibliographic data and as part of the patent family. The list of member states covered by the Unitary Patent is also reflected in C0 bibliographic data.
EPO worldwide legal event data (INPADOC)
EPO worldwide legal event data (INPADOC) contains legal events for all stages of the UP procedure. The opt-out information from the UPC is also made available. These events originate from the EP bibliographic data (EBD) and the European Patent Register. Please check the coverage table for more information.
- Open Patent Services (OPS)
UP-related information is available in OPS services. However, while the OPS Published data and Register services support both UP search and retrieval, in the OPS Legal and Family services only retrieval is possible.
To search for UPs in the OPS Register service, you can use the same field identifiers as in Register.
- ufd - unitary effect request date
- urd - unitary effect registration date
UP-related information is then displayed using the "upp" constituent.
In the OPS Published data service, UP-related information is displayed using the "biblio" and "equivalents" constituents.
The OPS Legal and Family services display UP-related information.
- Reading material/guides
- Event recordings
Hear from experts and learn more about UP-related topics by watching the EPO's event recordings:
Unitary Patent-related training resources including recorded online seminars
- Patent Knowledge Nuggets
Patent Knowledge Nuggets are a series of short videos that aim to help users understand features of EPO data tools and how to use them. Some of these videos relate to the UP system:
Unitary Patent information in patent knowledge (videos)
- Upcoming UP-related events and training
- More about the Unified Patent Court