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News article3 June 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency1 min read

“Happy First Birthday, Unitary Patent System!"

The Unitary Patent system has seen a successful start, completing Europe’s single market for technology. A year after the Unitary Patent system's launch, over 28,000 requests for unitary effect have been submitted, and the European Patent Office (EPO) has registered more than 27,500 Unitary Patents. This indicates that nearly one in four granted European patents has been converted into a Unitary Patent.

The new system saw significant adoption in Europe, with 64.2% of Unitary Patent proprietors located within the EPO's 39 contracting states. Proprietors from the US represented 16.1%, China 6.0%, Japan 3.8%, and the Republic of Korea 3.3%. Smaller European companies and start-ups displayed substantial interest, accounting for 35.5% of all Unitary Patents in Europe in 2023 alone.

The Unitary Patent has become a reality through a significant collective effort spanning the last five decades, demonstrating the determination of numerous stakeholders within the patent system and the EPO itself. Great pride can be taken in seeing the vision of the founders of the European Patent Convention being realized with such notable success.