Recently published by Wolters Kluwer, “The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court”, authored by Pieter Callens and judge Sam Granata, is the first comprehensive commentary of its kind. It is a must-have addition to the bookshelf of anyone involved or interested in patents.

For Europe-wide protection of inventions, we currently have the classic European patent. However, this “European” patent is not an EU concept, but a system by which, through a single procedure at the European Patent Office in Munich, the applicant acquires a bundle of national patents. Disadvantages of the system include the need for translations into different EU languages, taxes payable per country and administrative complexity. Within the EU a real “EU” patent, the Unitary Patent, has been created. With one application procedure, one renewal fee and one additional translation, the applicant will acquire a Unitary Patent for the territory of (initially) 16 and (ultimately) 25 Member States. This should make the system much cheaper.

The EU wishes to combine the new Unitary Patent with the Unified Patent Court, a new patent court with jurisdiction in all countries covered by the Unitary Patent. By means of this court it will be possible to prosecute infringement of a Unitary Patent or a European patent for all participating Member States. The court will also be able to revoke patents for the whole territory. For European patents there will be an opt-out possibility.

After the final necessary ratification by Germany and the United Kingdom respectively, the new system will enter into force in 2018.

During the Belgian presidency of the EU in 2010, Pieter Callens was one of the architects of this new system, and he has been closely following all developments since then. Already in 2013, Pieter Callens and Sam Granata published the successful book “Introduction to the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court”. Their new book “The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court” discusses in detail the origin, the development and the final version of all the legal texts (including the Rules of Procedure). More information about the book can be found here: