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Thursday, 20th December 2012

EU Patent Reform Package

Source: European Commission

From Press Release:

Efforts to create a common patent applicable across all European countries have been made since the 1960s but for a number of reasons have never been successful.

In 2000 the European Commission made a proposal to create a Community Patent through a Regulation [now 'EU patent' under the Lisbon Treaty]. The aim was to provide for a single patent title applicable in all Member States. In 2003 Member States agreed a common political approach but failed to reach a final agreement, including over the details of the translation regime. Following a wide-scale consultation in 2006, the Commission produced a Communication in April 2007 which confirmed the commitment to the Community patent and re-launched negotiations in Member States.

In April 2011, the Commission tabled proposals on the creation of a European patent with unitary effect (or "unitary patent") in the framework of enhanced cooperation. The unitary patent will allow patent protection to be obtained for 25 Member States (all Member States except Italy and Spain) on the basis of a single application and without further administrative formalities, like validation and translation requirements, in the Member States. It will give inventors and companies access to the markets of 25 countries, i.e. 400 million customers at a vastly lower cost, with far fewer administrative hurdles to overcome.

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be created by an international agreement of the Member States and will be competent to handle disputes concerning both future unitary patents and current "classical" European patents. The UPC will be a single specialised patent court, with local and regional presence around the EU. Instead of parallel litigation in national courts, the parties will be able to get a swift and high quality decision for all states where the patent is valid.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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