Feeds

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

12 countries take part in the simplified patent scheme

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.