The Unified European Patent
On June 29th, 2012 the European Council finished the long going negotiations on the future of the unified EU patent system. This long-awaited decision allows the cheaper, more simple and more effective patent protection for enterprises, especially small and medium–sized, in the EU.
The innovations include:
• The unified European patent will be valid in all contracting EU countries and will be issued after filling just one application.
• EU applicants, that state language is not English, French or German, will have an opportunity to submit applications in any of the official EU languages. The costs of translating the application into English, French or German will be compensated.
• All litigation will be made in the new EU’s patent court. It is expected that the headquarters of the First Instance Court of the Unified Patent Court will be set up in Paris and will have two specialized branches, one in London and another in Munich.
• There will be no need for the approval of the patent in each EU country at national level.
It is expected that unified European patent will make the patent system more simple and, thus, patent will become cheaper in all Europe. There will be no need for massive translation of patent documents. Patent system should become more accessible to small and middle-sized enterprises, universities and it will help them to introduce their inventions to the market.
At the moment it is rather difficult and expensive to get a patent in all EU countries. Firstly, it must be issued by the European Patent Office. Then it must be approved by each member state in which the inventor wishes to have protection. The inventor must complete many formalities and spend a lot of money for translation. Issue of patent may cost up to 32 000 Euros throughout European Union. It is obvious that current patent system does not encourage progress of the EU.