Feeds

Scaled-down EU patent system moves a step closer to approval

12 countries take part in the simplified patent scheme

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A committee of the European Parliament has approved plans to create a 12-country patent system in Europe as countries including the UK seek to break a decades-old deadlock on whether patents should be translated, and, if so, how this should be done.

The whole Parliament will vote on the plans next month, after which the proposal must be approved by the Competitiveness Council.

Governments and businesses have long recognised that the patent systems in powerful economies such as the US are much more efficient than those in place in the EU – because they are single systems.

Costs for EU patents covering all of Europe are estimated at 10 times the cost of a patent covering all of the US. The higher costs are because patents must be translated into the language of each country for which protection is sought.

A patent covering even just 13 countries will cost €18,000 – of which €10,000 is the cost of translation – according to a European Commission statement published last December.

The Commission has made several attempts to create a pan-EU patent system, including one last year. When that failed, 12 EU countries – including the UK – proposed a single patent system that would operate between its members.

It is that system which has been given the go-ahead by the European Paliament's Legal Affairs Committee. It approved a report by German MEP Klaus-Heiner Lehne recommending the system.

The plan would allow a patent examined and granted in English, French or German to have effect in any of the 12 countries in the scheme. Other countries can join it at any time. If their own language is not one of those three, the scheme will cover the cost of translation into one of those three languages.

The countries participating in the plan are the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden

The scheme is an "enhanced cooperation mechanism". This is a formal process that allows nine or more countries to use the EU's official channels to co-operate on a matter if attempts to encourage all 27 countries to cooperate have failed.

Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.