After a transitional period (minimum 6 years, maximum 12 years), there will be no need to file translations of the European patent specification for granted unitary patents. During the transitional period, however, a translation of the specification is required (into English where the language of proceedings is French or German; or into any official language of the EU where the language of proceedings is English). The translated text is for information purposes only and has no legal effect. After the transitional period, translations will be only required in case of a dispute relating to an alleged infringement.
For natural persons, SMEs, non-profit organizations, universities and public research organizations there will be a compensation scheme for translation costs.
During the transitional period, the translation costs for a unitary patent may increase the overall costs to be higher than those for validation of a “classic” European patent in only a few EPC member states (e.g., DE, FR, GB: no translation of the specification is required). For validation in many EU member states, patent proprietors can save translation costs with the unitary patent.