How To Get A Unitary Patent? A Comprehensive Guide

With recent technological advancements, obtaining a Unitary Patent that can protect your invention or creative work is easier than ever.

A Unitary Patent protects your invention from patent infringement over 17 participating UK countries – it offers an excellent way to take your product international with the intellectual property protection you need to feel confident about launching to a new market.

This article will discuss how to get a Unitary Patent, and we’ll also cover why investing in patent protection is important and some of its benefits. 

Without further ado, let’s explore Unitary Patents. 

Overview Of European Patent Protection

Patent protection is an effective way to protect inventions and ideas, as it provides exclusive rights that can be enforced in court if someone else attempts to use your invention without permission.

There are two main types of European patents: utility and design. Utility patents protect a functional product or process, while design patents protect the appearance of an article or device.

You must first apply with the European Patent Office (EPO) to get a unitary patent. The EPO will examine the application and decide whether there is sufficient novelty and inventiveness to grant a patent. If granted, the unitary patent will apply to all participating countries – currently France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Once issued by the EPO, the unitary patent can be validated in any country where protection is desired. This simplifies the process compared to filing separate applications for each required country.

It also reduces costs significantly since only one fee needs to be paid instead of multiple fees for different countries.

Definition Of Unitary Patent

A Unitary Patent is a single patent that applies across the European Union. It was introduced to make it easier and less expensive for inventors to protect their inventions in multiple countries within the EU. 

This unified system drastically reduces the costs of obtaining and managing the patent, making it an attractive option for many businesses.

Advantages Of Obtaining A Unitary Patent

The advantages of obtaining a Unitary Patent are many. Firstly, it simplifies the patenting process by allowing inventors to obtain protection in 25 countries with one application and one set of fees.

Additionally, since all grants and renewals are done through the European Patent Office (EPO), the time for grants is significantly reduced compared to multiple national applications.

Furthermore, this type of patent offers uniform enforcement across the participating countries. Any infringement would be judged based on EU law instead of different local laws or regulations.

A Unitary Patent also saves cost due to its lower renewal fee schedule. After ten years, only a single renewal fee needs to be paid instead of individual country fees.

In addition, legal costs associated with resolving disputes over patents can be substantially minimised because of the unified system under which such proceedings occur.

For example, if an inventor’s patent is infringed upon in more than one EU member state at once, they will have to go through just one court case instead of numerous ones as required for separate patents.

The Unitary Patent Application Process

One must apply through the European Patent Office (EPO) to obtain a unitary patent. The process is straightforward and involves submitting an application form online or by mail. However, certain requirements must be met for a successful application to be made:

  • You must have your invention assessed and approved as patentable under European Law.
  • You must prove ownership of the invention.
  • You must pay any necessary fees associated with filing for a Unitary Patent.

Once these criteria have been fulfilled, the submission will move on to the examination stage. This includes reviewing all documents submitted, such as drawings, descriptions and claims.

If everything checks out, it will then proceed to grant and publication. After this point, you can finally receive your Unitary Patent.

Renewal And Maintenance Fees

Once registered, the unitary patent must be maintained and renewed annually. The fees for renewal and maintenance vary depending on the number of countries in which the patent is valid. Some fees to be aware of include the following:

  • Renewal Feesrenewal fees are due every year after a unitary patent has been granted. Depending on the scope of protection desired, prices can range from €170 to €4500 per year.
  • European Patent Office (EPO) Fee – A fee payable to the EPO is required each year until 20 years from when the application was filed or 16 years from when it was granted, whichever comes first. This fee ranges from €170 to €850.
  • National Validation Fee – each participating country also requires its national validation fee corresponding to how many countries have chosen to validate the unitary patent at a given time. These fees typically cost between €150-€2000 per country, depending upon their regulations.
  • Unitary Patent Renewal Fee – the Unitary Patent Renewal Fee covers all annual renewals within Europe and is paid directly to UNIPROJEKT instead of through an individual office in each country. This fee generally costs between €1000-€4500 per annum, depending on the coverage area selected.
  • Maintenance Fees – Maintenance fees become applicable if payment of any of these yearly renewal fees is missed during a particular period. 

To keep a unitary patent active, this fee must be paid before the expiration date and late interest charges as assessed by respective offices in different countries who have validated said patents under their jurisdiction. 


In conclusion, obtaining a unitary patent can benefit businesses looking to protect their inventions and products. 

It’s important to understand the advantages of a unitary patent, such as its duration and validity periods – ensuring your invention is protected for years to come. 

Additionally, considering the assignment, licensing and enforcement rules surrounding patents is worthwhile to ensure you fully comply with any relevant laws.

We hope this article has helped teach you how to get a Unitary Patent, and if you are applying for one, we wish you the best of luck with your business endeavour!