The European Patent Office (EPO) today published a ‘Unitary Patent Guide’, a 40-page document intended to provide prospective users of the new system with an outline of the procedure to obtain unitary patent protection once the EPO has decided to grant a European patent application. The Guide sets out a useful summary of the procedural steps involved, including references to the primary and secondary legislation applicable to each step of the process. The document also addresses the accessory procedures relating to unitary patents (e.g. the compensation scheme for translation costs), as well as the rules on how to pay the renewal fees.

The Guide is currently only available in PDF format, but the EPO is working on providing an online version of the same.