Feeds

McCreevy laments unpopular EPLA

Going nowhere, fast

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has warned that efforts to establish the pan-European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) are in danger of coming to naught, after the agreement failed to secure the support of national governments on Monday.

A meeting of the national ministers for industry revealed serious concerns about the form of the proposed EPLA. France, for example, wants patent litigation to be handled by Europe's highest court, alongside national courts, rather than putting the European Patent Office in charge.

Belgium, meanwhile, would like to see countries sign up to the EPLA as and when they feel they agree with it, rather than it being imposed as a blanket reform. Although this stance perhaps misses the point of the whole arguement - that being to harmonise patenting across Europe's member states.

McCreevy, the EU's internal market commissioner, told the Financial Times that "anything remotely concerning this patent area is fraught with minefields at every turn of the road". He said the failure to secure backing from national governments made him "pessimistic" about the prospect of making progress on the issue.

He now argues that the EPLA would reduce the costs of litigation, despite having acknowledged in September that concerns that the EPLA would actually raise costs were "legitimate".

He also suggests that consensus over the EPLA could have paved the way for a community patent, something he has been arguing for for a while. He now sees that as unlikely, telling the FT: "I thought what we were proposing here would not be that difficult for member states to accept. [But] anything of significance is becoming increasingly difficult to to make progress on." ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.