The Polish translation of the patent description may be used when registering a unitary effect

In one of our previous texts (see here) we have described in detail the procedure specific to the registration of a unitary patent. It should be recalled that European patents granted after June 1 may benefit from unitary effect, with some minor exceptions provided for during the transitional period.

An application for unitary patent must, in principle, be filed within one month of the granting of a European patent by the EPO.

When applying for a unitary patent during the transitional period, the patent holder should attach a full description of the patent specification in one of the following languages:

– In English, if the language of the proceedings before the EPO was French or German;

In any other language of an EU Member State, if the language of the proceedings was English (Article 6 of Council Regulation (EU) No. 1260/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements).

Of course, due to the dominance of the English language, it is the latter case that is more likely to occur. 

It is, therefore, worth noting that the provision of the Regulation refers to the language of any EU Member State. This requirement is in no way limited to states participating in enhanced cooperation in the area of the unitary patent.

Thus, it should be understood that it is acceptable to submit a translation of the patent description, for instance, into Polish.

It can be expected that in many cases this will be an attractive option. The holder of a European patent granted in an EU country other than Poland may, by obtaining such a translation, apply at the same time for the validation of their patent in Poland, thus extending the territory where they can enjoy protection.

However, if the patent was originally granted in Poland, the patent specification prepared for the purposes of the application may, with appropriate modifications, be attached to the application for registration of the unitary effect of the corresponding European patent.