The Unitary Patent System marks the most significant shift in European patent law in the past 50 years – it will create a single approach to patent prosecution and litigation across 17 participating EU member states, with additional member states expected to join in the future. The new system will come into effect on June 1st, 2023, and companies with European patents must make critical decisions as to whether to opt-out of the new system by May 31st, 2023.
With this deadline less than a month away, MaxVal reviewed the portfolios of top patent filers to better understand opt-out trends. Specifically, MaxVal evaluated top patent filers across several technology areas, including chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, instruments, and consumer goods, to identify the rate at which companies are choosing to opt-out of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Of a total of 1.92 million patent families with at least one granted patent or pending application in Europe, on average, 2.20% have been opted-out of the UPC.
When evaluating opt-out rates by broad technology area, our research uncovered the following:
- Chemistry – opt-out rate of 2.58%
- Instruments – opt-out rate of 2.07%
- Electrical engineering – opt-out rate of 2.06%
- Mechanical engineering – opt-out rate of 2.06%
- Consumer Goods – opt-out rate of 1.78%
Clearly, the rate of opt-out varies significantly by technology area. That said, as the opt-out period draws closer to the end, we’ll expect to see these numbers increase. To gain further clarity, MaxVal will continue to monitor and report on these trends in the coming weeks.
While there is no cost for opting-out, the patent owner or applicant must file a request with the Registry of the UPC. In cases of joint ownership, all owners or applicants must agree to opt-out. If the specific guidelines for opting-out are not followed, then the patent will remain under the jurisdiction of the UPC.
And as always, if you need assistance with the UPC opt-out process, please reach us at [email protected]. We’re here to help.