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INEGI takes part in the launching of the European Unitary Patent system

17 November 2022
Nuno Correia, Director of the Materials and Composite Structures area at INEGI, is taking part in the launching event of the new European Unitary Patent system, which takes place today in Brussels. Nuno Correia is part of the panel dedicated to the perspective of Small and Medium-sized Companies ( SMEs) that invest in innovation.

With a long development path, around 20 years, this new system will enable inventors to obtain uniform protection in up to 25 EU Member States by filing a single application with the EPO – European Patent Office.

So far, European patent applications are submitted to the EPO, however, once the patent is granted, its holder must validate and maintain it individually in each of the 39 member states of the EPO. This process involves maintaining several nationally validated patents and, depending on the country, translations into different national languages.

For the Director of INEGI's Materials and Composite Structures area, Nuno Correia, "this is a fundamental step for SMEs and start-ups, since it significantly reduces the cost of protecting industrial property, whether in the patents themselves or the possible litigation, since decisions for all member states will be taken (in contrast to what happens today) in a single court and will be valid for all acceding states. It is hoped that this new system will allow innovative companies greater access to the protection of their Industrial Property, and consequently to investment, and the acceleration of innovation in Europe”.

The Unitary Patent system is expected to start on 1 April 2023 and, according to the European Patent Office, "will mark the dawning of a new era for IP in Europe and the fostering of innovation across the continent”.

There are currently 17 states that already ratified the participation agreements in the Unitary Patent system, including Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden.

More information about the European Unitary Patent system is available on the EPO website.
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