Feeds

EU ministers give approval to patent scheme

Commission to make detailed plans

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.