As preparations for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and European patent having unitary effect (Unitary Patent) move ahead, the European Commission has opened a call for evidence on whether the new system should include a Unitary Supplementary Protection Certificate (Unitary SPC).
SPCs are currently examined and granted by national patent offices, even when based on centrally granted European patents. With the advent of the UPC and the pan-European Unitary Patent, however, the need for unitary SPC protection, that is a Unitary SPC, has now arisen.
If a Unitary SPC is to be established, this brings with it issues of legal certainty and transparency in the granting procedure that will need to be ensured. An example some of the issues that are currently under discussion are:
In addition to the Unitary SPC, there is also the issue of the shortcomings of the current SPC system due to its national character, in particular with regard to divergent outcomes of national grant and revocation procedures, sub-optimal transparency of SPC-related information, and high costs and administrative burdens with regard to enforcement and litigation of SPCs.
To address all of these issues, the European Commission has now opened a ‘call for evidence’ to receive views from stakeholders, with the purpose of preparing an impact assessment and any necessary legislation. The call is open until 5 April 5 2022.
The call for evidence can be found here.
The UPC and Unitary Patent will introduce the most radical changes to patent litigation in Europe in 40 years.Visit our UPC main page – The Unified Patent Court