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Unified EU Patent System

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 by Jim Ruttler

The European Union (EU) council announced on December 4, 2009 that agreements had been reached on a general approach to the draft regulation on the EU Patent. The European Commission (EC) has long argued that a fragmented patent system and the absence of a single European Patent have impeded the growth of technologies companies in the EU. The disjointed system that is currently in place results in excessive costs, complexity and legal uncertainties that arise from various contradictory Court decisions issued in Member states. A Community Patent will simplify obtainment of patent protection and reduce costs incurred for protection of innovations in the EU. To date, patent protection in 13 EU states costs innovators 11 times as much as an innovator pays for patent protection in the United States. “The EU council agreed on certain features of a patent court which has exclusive jurisdiction in respect of infringement and validity issues concerning European and EU patents. The draft agreement is currently being examined by the European Court of Justice which has to deliver an opinion on the compatibility of the draft agreement with the EC Treaty. The opinion is expected at the earliest by summer 2010.”

http://www.epo.org/topics/news/2009/20091208.html

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