Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

A possibility for a common European patent system

Adelina Marini, December 6, 2009

The EU ministers of economy agreed on the creation of a regulation for a Community patent to cover the whole EU and to give opportunity for only one application for a patent. According to the Lisbon Treaty such decisions could enter into force only after negotiations with the European Parliament, it is expected them to start during the Spanish EU Presidency which starts on the 1st of January. At present it is much more expensive to get patent protection in the EU. That is why most companies register on their national markets.The current system is very complex and slow because the patent processes for one and the same invention must be conducted separately in each member state.

But to enact a single patent system, the Competitiveness Council decided that a key element of such a system should be the establishment of a single European Patent Court that will try cases on both the EU patent and existing European patents that will try cases on both the EU patent and existing European patents. The establishment of such a court would save European companies hundreds of billions of euro annually.

The introduction of a single patent register within the EU will significantly facilitate competitiveness of European technological innovations globally because the patents will be recognized world-wide.