Why obtain a UP?
The benefit of a UP is that it will cover all participating countries at a significantly reduced cost in comparison with obtaining the same coverage through the classical, national validation system. However, in practice, few applicants choose to validate in all countries at the validation stage, so for many the advantages are best understood as the ability to obtain increased coverage for a relatively modest fee.
In considering the cost implications, it is important to recognise that costs occur both on a one-off basis (initially, when obtaining a UP or validating) and then subsequently, as renewal fees are paid each year that the patent is in force.
However, cost is not the only consideration. Once granted, a UP is somewhat less flexible than the alternative. In part, this is because you do not have the option to “prune” some countries from coverage in due course in order to reduce renewal costs.
Moreover, whereas classical validations give the patentee some choice about whether to use the Unified Patent Court (UPC) or to use existing national courts, UPs can only be litigated at the UPC — there is no opt-out for a UP. Read more