EFPIA response to launch of Unitary Patent System in Europe
June 1 saw a new unitary patent system begin in Europe. The system allows inventions to be protected by a single unitary patent in 17 EU countries. Currently, the countries participating in the unitary patent system include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.
Speaking about the impact on the pharmaceutical industry, Nathalie Moll, Director General, EFPIA, said:
“EFPIA welcomes the Unitary Patent system as it is intended to help businesses, including Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), to minimise their costs and administrative burdens of patent protection in Europe. As a result, the Unitary Patent system is expected to stimulate research, development and investment in innovation, as well as to help to boost growth and competitiveness in Europe.
Since March 1st a Sunrise period has allowed European patent holders to have the possibility of filing an opt-out request for their existing European patents which have been validated in one or more of the UPC member states.
Nathalie Moll, said: Given the uncertainties of any new system, it makes sense that opt outs are available during a transition period.”