Decisions needed on grant
At the allowance/grant stage of a European Patent, applicants need to decide whether or not a Unitary Patent (UP) should be requested for those countries available as part of the Unitary Patent system and/or whether to proceed with conventional national validations of the European Patent in one or more countries. For countries not available as part of the Unitary Patent system, national validations must be obtained. It is also possible to secure national validations for countries that are available as part of the Unitary Patent system, if it is not desired to obtain a UP. (For a country available as part of the Unitary Patent system, it is not though possible to both elect a UP and secure a national validation.)
There are two main post-grant options following the centralised examination and grant procedure at the EPO. The choice has cost implications and implications for which court(s) will have jurisdiction.
Select a Unitary Patent (UP) and optionally individual national validations of a European Patent for countries not participating in the Unitary Patent system. The UPC will have exclusive jurisdiction for the Unitary Patent; it will not be possible to enforce or revoke the Unitary Patent in a national court. For validations in non-participating countries, jurisdiction remains with their national courts.
Select individual national validations of a European Patent thereby retaining flexibility (e.g. for decisions on renewal fee payments). For participating countries, the UPC and national courts share jurisdiction, unless the patent is opted out of the UPC’s jurisdiction.