So far there is no unified European patent that would enjoy protection throughout the EU in the same way as an EU trademark - and for the time being this will remain the case.
Although patents can be applied for at the European Patent Office (EPO), once granted, a European patent application is split into individual national patents. This means that after the expiry of the opposition period, action against granted EP patents can only be taken before the national patent authorities (for each country individually). The same applies to the enforcement of EP patents.
The EPO grants an EP patent to a German company. Germany, France and Italy were chosen for the country decision. If a patent infringer in Italy is now to be sued for injunction, this must be done before an Italian national court. Italian lawyers must be consulted for this. If the Italian patent infringer wants to remove the EP patent by a nullity suit as a counter-attack, this will also be done before an Italian authority, and only for the Italian part of the EP patent.
A Unified Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) will establish a genuine European patent and a central European patent court. This would make it possible to take action against competitors' European patents before a single central authority. In addition, it would be possible to enforce one's own intellectual property rights before a single central authority for the entire EU.
After years of intergovernmental negotiations, the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court repeatedly makes the future of the Unified Patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) uncertain.
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