Translation requirements

After a transitional period, no translations will be required when opting for a Unitary Patent. During this transitional period of six years (which may be extended up to a maximum of 12 years), the patent proprietor will have to file one full translation of the European patent specification, namely:

- into English if the language of the proceedings before the EPO was French or German
- into any other official language of an EU member state if the language of the proceedings was English.

The translation must be filed together with the request for unitary effect. It is for information only and has no legal effect.

A translation of the claims into the EPO's other two official languages will already have been filed at the end of the grant procedure. This means that if one of those other two EPO languages is chosen for the translation, only the description will need to be additionally translated when filing the request for unitary effect; the translation of the claims can be re‑used.

Where the language of the proceedings is English and the patent proprietor chooses to file a translation of the specification into an official EU language other than French or German, it will often be possible to revert to an application filed with a national patent office and to adapt it.

After expiry of the transitional period (=period of six years, which may be extended up to a maximum of 12 years), a translation will no longer be required to obtain a Unitary Patent.