Romania Joins the Unitary Patent System

Thomas Gibb

Romania Joins the Unitary Patent System

Effective from 1st September 2024, Romania will become a member of the Unitary Patent system.  

Consequently, all European patents taking unitary effect from this date will automatically encompass Romania, increasing the number of participating EU Member States to 18 and extending the system’s coverage to an additional market of approximately 19 million people.

One Year of the Unitary Patent

In the first year since the Unitary Patent’s inception, the EPO has received 28,450 requests for unitary effect and registered nearly 27,700 Unitary Patents. Since the beginning of the year, almost one in four European patents granted has been converted into a Unitary Patent.

What is the Unitary Patent System?

At its core, the Unitary Patent system offers reduced costs, a streamlined procedure, uniform protection, and enhanced legal certainty. Inventors can apply for and maintain patent protection, pay renewal fees, and register subsequent transactions (such as the granting of licenses) through the EPO as a central one-stop shop, eliminating the need to navigate multiple national procedures concurrently. These benefits make the Unitary Patent particularly attractive to SMEs. For more information, see our Unitary Patent Guide.

What does this mean for Unitary Patent applications?

To enable users to benefit from the expanded territorial scope of the Unitary Patent covering Romania, the EPO will accept requests for a delay in the registration of unitary effect.  If you are interested in learning more about the Unitary Patent system, or about filing in Romania, get in touch with one of our specialist attorneys.

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