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Final preparations for the start of the Unitary Patent

EPO President António Campinos yesterday met with Alexander Ramsay, Chair of the Unified Patent Court Preparatory Committee, the representatives of the participating member states in charge of the five work streams for the Preparatory Committee, as well as Jérôme Debrulle, the Chair of the Select Committee of the Administrative Council in charge of the Unitary Patent. The meeting enabled participants to update each other on progress in preparing the remaining tasks to be undertaken for the launch of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC).

President Campinos emphasised the importance of close co-operation between all partners in the final preparatory phase: "The start of the provisional application period last month gave the signal that the UPC/UPP package will soon become a reality," he said. "I am confident that thanks to the well-proven co-operation of our dedicated teams and the coordination of our joint efforts, we will be able to deliver the final tasks as planned and usher in the long-awaited Unitary Patent to the benefit of our users."

Alexander Ramsay, Chair of the UPC Preparatory Committee, stated: "It is hugely encouraging to have come this far. We are now highly motivated to work, together with our partners, to conclude the preparations."

Jérôme Debrulle, Chair of the Select Committee, said: "This major long-awaited reform of the European patent system has never been so close. The EPO Select Committee in charge of the implementation of the Unitary Patent will complete its work by 30 June 2022. The main task which remains on its agenda is the finalisation of an ambitious communication programme in the interest of users and the EPO member states."

The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court are the building blocks of the Unitary Patent package which will supplement and strengthen the existing centralised European patent-granting system. Unitary patents will make it possible to obtain uniform patent protection in the participating EU member states which have ratified the UPC Agreement, by submitting a single request to the EPO, making the protection of inventions for patent holders simpler and more cost effective.

The UPC will be a common court of the participating member states with jurisdiction for infringement and revocation actions concerning patents granted by the EPO. This specialised court will make the Europe-wide enforcement of patents easier, offer greater legal certainty and reduce costs resulting from litigation in multiple jurisdictions.

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