Europe is carrying out the biggest reforms to the patent system since the European Patent Convention (EPC) came into effect in 1977. These changes will change the patent landscape in Europe. By the end of 2016 Europe will introduce a new type of patent for participating EU member states and establish a new European court dedicated to patent disputes:
The new unitary patent will be a single patent covering participating EU member states – unlike current European patents the unitary patent cannot be split into national components.
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be a patent court common to participating EU member states. It will hear patent disputes, including cases of infringement and invalidity, in several locations around Europe and will have its own international judiciary of legal and technical judges. The UPC will have a court of first instance and an appeal court.