Feeds

EU ministers give approval to patent scheme

Commission to make detailed plans

High performance access to file storage

A new patent agreement covering 25 of the EU's 27 countries was given the green light by EU member states yesterday. The European Commission will now draw up a specific proposal for the scheme.

EU bodies have tried for many years to create a single patent system for Europe whose costs are lower than at present. The current system can cost 10 times as much as one for the US, according to European Commission figures.

Most of that cost is generated by the need to translate patent documents into the language of any country where protection is sought. A new proposal to reduce translation costs was derailed last summer, and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said this week that a plan for a pan-EU patent court would break EU law.

A group of 12 EU countries proposed last autumn that they create their own system based on patents in English, French and German. The plan is based on an enhanced co-operation mechanism introduced into EU law by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.

Since autumn, every other EU country has said it will join the scheme except Italy and Spain, according to a statement from the European Council of Ministers.

The plans have already been approved by the Commission and the European Parliament. A spokeswoman for the European Commission said last month that after this week's approval by ministers the Commission would work on a detailed proposal that would need the European Parliament and Ministers' approval later this year.

The proposal would allow a patent examined and granted in English, French or German to have effect in any of the countries in the scheme. If a country's own language is not one of those three the scheme will cover the cost of translation into one of those three languages.

The ECJ this week published an opinion on an older scheme to create a single court system for patents issued by the European Patent Office to EU member countries and other members of its system.

The ECJ said that the proposed system would be incompatible with EU law because it would interpret EU law but operate outside of the EU courts system, leaving citizens without recourse to action through the EU courts.

The Commission said that the ECJ ruling would not affect the new plan for a patent system involving the 25 countries.

Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
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
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.