Europe now has its unitary patent

Ratification was expected, and this week the European Parliament approved the unitary (or unified) patent, expected to lower costs for filing for a patent in European countries by over 80%. Under the new framework, a patent issued by the European Patent Office will be valid automatically in 25 countries (Spain and Italy are holdouts) and will be adjudicated in a new, single patent court, located in Paris. The first unitary patents are expected in Spring of 2014.