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Europe - IP Glossary - U


Unitary patent

is a single European patent with unitary effect for the EU Member States involved in an enhanced cooperation. In order to obtain a unitary effect, patent holders need to request the unitary effect at the European Patent Office (EPO) within one month of the date of publication of the grant of the patent in the European Patent Bulletin. The unitary patent will be a third option for companies or inventors seeking patent protection in Europe in addition to national patents and 'classical' European patents (i.e. without unitary effect).

Unregistered Community design

is a form of protection for industrial designs fulfilling the conditions of protection – novelty and individual character.  The protection lasts for a period of three years and is acquired through the first disclosure or use in trade of a design within the European Union. The Unregistered Community design constitutes a right to prevent the commercial use of the design only if the use results from copying.


in the framework of FP7, use means the direct or indirect utilisation of foreground in further research activities other than those covered by the project, as well as for developing, creating and marketing a product or process or for creating and providing a service (using the results commercially or in industry).

Utility model

is one of the intellectual property rights that protects technical solutions such as an invention, with a lower level of inventiveness required than for a patent. The protection period is shorter than for patents (often 6 to 10 years).