10 September 2015
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Meeting in Rome today, EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Italy's Under Secretary of State to the Ministry of Economic Development, Simona Vicari, discussed the role of patents in supporting innovation and the upcoming introduction of a European patent with unitary effect for the EU member states. After clarification of important legal questions on the unitary patent by the Court of Justice of the EU Italy has initiated the process to participate in the new patent scheme which is expected to become operational in 2016.
"Italy's recent decision to join the unitary patent is very good news for Europe," said Mr Battistelli. "For innovators patenting their inventions here, the addition of this important and large market to the new patent scheme will reinforce the attractiveness of the European market. For Italian companies and inventors, the unitary patent will mean cost and time savings of the magnitude of 80%. It is especially designed to benefit SMEs."
"Italy's decision to join the unitary patent is coherent with the Government's strategy aimed at strengthening investments in innovation and internationalization, providing our companies with an additional tool for the protection of industrial property rights. The Ministry is on the front line - together with other European partners and EPO - to define the operational procedures more suitable to the needs of the Italian industrial fabric, in order to build this new European dimension", said the Under Secretary of State Ms Simona Vicari.
In May, Italy announced its decision to join the unitary patent and rapidly ratify the agreement on a Unified Patent Court. The parliament's Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati) passed a resolution in favour of Italy's participation in the enhanced co-operation in June, confirming the favourable opinion given by the Senate in 2013. Rome is now waiting for the formal acceptance of its request to participate from the European Council and European Commission, something which is expected very soon.