Will there be any changes to the (EPO) pre-grant procedure on double patenting?

A first consideration is whether the EPO will grant two patents for the same invention to the same applicant.
As the EPO regularly deals with divisional patent applications it already has a wealth of experience of dealing with patents that may, to a greater or lesser degree, duplicate the patent protection conferred by the related parent application. The way such duplication is deal with will not change with the introduction of UPs. In any case, applicants only have to choose if they want a traditional European patent (i.e. one that is validated independently in various EPC member states) or a Unitary Patent (i.e. a patent that is a single unitary right throughout the UP member states) once a European patent has been granted. There is therefore no reason why the introduction of UPs should change the way a European patent application is treated pre-grant (nor are any changes to the European Patent Convention governing pre-gran procedures made in light of the introduction of UPs). As such the EPO’s practice of dealing with duplicative patent protection is unlikely to change in light of the creation of UPs.

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