European Parliament adopts unitary patent rules

On 11 December 2012, the MEPs approved the EU patent package.

EU patent package is composed of three legislations: the regulation that introduces the system of a unitary patent, the rules regarding the translation of European patents and the international agreement creating a unified patent court. The idea of a unitary European patent was already being aired in 1957, while the latest attempt for its realization was put forward in 2004, but sunk by disagreement on language issues. These were apparently problematic also in the current package, as Italy and Spain rejected entering the system of a unitary patent. The unitary patent will be available in English, German and French. Regardless, the MEPs presented the package, that will enter into force on 1 January 2014 or after thirteen contracting states ratify it, as a great success, which will reduce the costs of obtaining patent protection on EU levels up to 80%. This system will be able to compete with the American and Japanese system, where patent protection was cheaper than in the EU.

Source: Press release of the European Parliament, Questions and Answers.