Agata Granis-Rafferty for The Patent Lawyer Magazine
Are the trends about to change for patent application filing in Poland?
Agata Granis-Rafferty, Polish and European Patent Attorney at Patpol, predicts the impact that the unitary patent will have on filing trends at the Polish Patent Office in a recent article by The Patent Lawyer Magazine.
We invite you to read the full article online.
How introduction of Unitary Patent in Europe will impact patent filing numbers before the Polish Patent Office?
Unitary patent in Europe will commence by the end of 2022. Unitary Patent will enable obtaining patent protection in up to 25 EPC Member States by submitting a single request to the EPO. Unitary Patent is aimed at removing the necessity of national validation procedures in the contracting states. Infringement and validity of Unitary Patents, as well as, European patents will be concluded by a special Unified Patent Court. Although 25 EU Member States are currently participating in the Unitary Patent scheme, Unitary Patents registered at the outset will not cover all 25 territories, because some states have not yet ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). Poland signed Protocol on enhanced cooperation, but is not a party to UPCA. This means that Poland is not among member states in which Unitary patent will have a legal effect. However, this does not prevent Polish companies from applying for unitary patent, however if any applicant or patent proprietor wishes to have protection in Poland, it can be achieved via validation of classic European Patent or by filing a national patent application or by entering with PCT application into national phase in Poland.
European patent is definitely the preferred option for obtaining patent protection in Poland. Since Poland’s accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC), a number of the European patents in force in Poland has grown significantly from 12 European patents in 2005 to 83 800 European patents in 2020. Never before Poland has had such a high number of patents in force. The validated European patents outnumber the patents granted directly with the Polish Patent Office, whose number in 2020 amounted only to 18 731. These high numbers of validated European patents not only correspond to an increasing number of European patents granted every year by the EPO, but also show that many patent proprietors want to protect their inventions in Poland and are willing to invest in EP patent translations, which are necessary for patent validation in Poland.