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Legal background

The new European unitary patent and Unified Patent Court regime is established by three pieces of legislation comprising two EU Regulations – the unitary patent and translational regulations – and the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court:

  • Agreement on the Unified Patent Court(UPCA or UPC Agreement) – The international treaty between 24 of the 27 Member States of the European Union setting up the Unified Patent Court. The Agreement is accompanied by the Rules of Procedure (as finally adopted on 31 August 2022), the procedural law provisions under which the UPC will operate.
  • Regulation creating the Unitary Patent– The EU Regulation which sets up the unitary patent (Reg. 1257/2012/EU).
  • Translational Regulation– The EU Regulation that sets up the translational arrangements for the unitary patent (Reg. 1260/2012/EU).

The Regulations were passed in December 2012 and the the UPC Agreement entered into force on 1 June 2023.

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The European Unified Patent System