This "Unitary Patent Guide" aims to provide companies, inventors and their representatives with an outline of the procedure involved in obtaining a Unitary Patent from the European Patent Office (EPO) once it has granted a European patent on the basis of the provisions laid down in the European Patent Convention (EPC). As to the terminology, you should note that, whereas the relevant legislation uses the terms "European patent with unitary effect" and "Unitary Patent Protection", this guide largely uses "Unitary Patent" as a synonym for these terms for the sake of simplicity.

The guide also deals with the accessory procedures relating to Unitary Patents, such as those to be followed under the compensation scheme for translation costs or when registering a statement on licences of right, and gives an overview of the rules on how to pay renewal fees for Unitary Patents.

As to the procedure for getting a classic European patent, you can consult our two other, regularly updated guides "How to get a European patent – Guide for applicants" and "Euro-PCT Guide: PCT procedure at the EPO".

Any comments and questions on the present guide may be addressed to Directorate 5.2.2., European and International Legal Affairs, PCT (


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