The single European patent was officially signed yesterday

We wrote earlier about the single European patent, which will bring down the costs of validating and enforcing a patent in the EU.  The “European patent” has been talked about for 40 years: the idea first came up in 1973. Yesterday, it was formally signed for 24 participating member states.

Spain and Poland won’t sign for different reasons – for Spain it’s language issues and for Poland it’s a matter of competitivity.  Bulgaria wants to iron out some administrative stuff first. Italy, on the other hand, signed the European patent regulation, but won’t use it

The current system made patent registration up to 60 times more expensive in Europe than in China and will now be binned in favour of a one-size-fits-all pan-European process.

Speaking on the eve of the formal adoption, Michel Barnier, the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner, said: “Costs will be reduced by over 80%. In the history of European integration there have not been many steps forward of such significance, in such an important area. This will be a major boost to competitiveness.”

In typical European style, the European patent court will spread out over Paris, London and Munich. The HQ is in Paris, infringements of patents in life sciences will be heard in London, and engineering and physics-related cases will be dealt with in Munich.

via EurActiv

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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