Feeds

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

12 countries take part in the simplified patent scheme

High performance access to file storage

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.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.