Thursday, March 10, 2011

Newsworthy week in European IP

What a week for IP in Europe!

Big news 1: Rejection of EEUPC

First the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected the proposal to form a new European and European Union Patent Court (EEUPC). It seems to be a polarizing decision.

I was speaking to a German professor of IP who thought it was an eminently sensible outcome.

On the other hand, many people are very disappointed and feel that it is a disastrous decision. There is a considered analysis by Dr. Jochen Pagenberg on the IPEG blog.

Big news 2: Agreement on European unitary patent

Hot on the heels of that news was the announcement from the European Council this afternoon that 25 of 27 member states have voted to go ahead with the unitary European patent. The 3 official languages will be English, French and German. This single filing system will save costs for inventors compared with the current system of having to file applications in each individual member state with applications translated into local languages.

Italy and Spain had resisted such a move because they wanted their respective languages to be included in the list of official languages. Under the "enhanced cooperation" rules, unanimity is no longer required.

The 25 member states will now press ahead with preparations for a system for a single European patent. Italy and Spain will have the opportunity to join in the future, if they so wish.

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