UPC MAP

How do the EPC and UPC interact

To ensure that patentees obtain patent coverage that meets the business’ needs both geographically and economically, it is important to understand how the European Patent (39 EPC countries plus 1 extension and 4 validation states) and the Unitary Patent (only available to EU Member States) will interact.

Initially, Unitary Patents (UPs) will not cover all 24 participating EU Member States as only 17 EU Member States have ratified the UPC Agreement to date. Outstanding ratifications are likely to take place successively, so there may be different generations of UPs with different territorial coverage. The coverage of a given generation of UP will stay the same for the entire lifetime, irrespective of any subsequent ratifications of the UPC Agreement after the date of registration of unitary effect.

Select from the list of countries below to understand what the patenting and enforcement options will be once the UPC goes live.

EPC (EU) country has joined UPC
EPC (EU) country intends to join UPC
EPC (EU) country signed but not ratified UPC
EPC (EU) country - not joining UPC
EPC (Non-EU) country - cannot join UPC
Local & Regional Divisions (infringement)
Central Divisions (revocation/DNI)
Court of Appeal / UPC Registry
Mediation & Arbitration Centres

*Germany ratified the UPC Agreement on 17 February 2023 – this means that the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent will go live on 1 June 2023

**The Irish government has committed to a referendum on ratifying the UPC Agreement before May 2024.

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