Glasgow-based Murgitroyd, the global intellectual property firm, will this week officially launch its new enlarged offices in Munich, Europe's "capital city" for patents.

The launch coincides with the imminent arrival of the European unitary patent, which will make it cheaper and faster to apply for and enforce a patent within the EU, excluding Spain and Italy.

A new Unitary Patent Court with divisions in Munich, London and Paris may be up and running next year.

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Murgitroyd says its new office "positions Murgitroyd at the heart of the EU patent examination and patent protection process". The firm has also recently opened a London City office and plans to open in Paris in the near future.

Graham Murnane, Munich-based director for Murgitroyd, says the new EU patent is an "exciting moment" after decades in preparation and endless political wrangling.

Mr Murnane says clients "stand to gain enormously" once the unitary patent becomes EU law.

"Most importantly, they will be able to take legal action in a local unitary patent court to stop Europe-wide infringement of their European patent.

"A first instance court in one country can grant an order stopping an infringing activity, and can award damages for infringement, throughout the EU."

New unitary patents will undergo a single examination and grant process at the European Patent Office, but can also be revoked across the whole of Europe in a single revocation procedure. After seven years, the court will also be the forum for litigation of conventional European patents as well.