You may have heard about it previously because it has been in the works for several years. Essentially, the unitary patent under the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) ensures uniform protection for your patents in these European countries which have signed on. The system is projected to go into effect early next year.
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is an international court set up by participating EU Member States to deal with the infringement and validity of both Unitary Patents and European patents, putting an end to costly parallel litigation and enhancing legal certainty.
What filing a patent under the agreement means is that you will only have to submit a single request to the European Patent Office (EPO) to obtain patent protection throughout the European member states.
Of the 27 EU countries, only three are excluded. Spain and Croatia chose not to participate, and Poland which has not yet signed on.
For details and annual fees for your unitary patent, check with your international patent law firm.