EPO welcomes historic breakthrough on the unitary patent
The European Patent Office (EPO) strongly welcomes the agreement reached today by EU member states on the location of the central division of the future European patent court, which removes a significant obstacle to the introduction of unitary patent protection in Europe.
"In taking this long-awaited step towards the completion of the European
patent system, Europe has demonstrated its conviction that the best way to counter
current economic uncertainties is to boost innovation and strengthen the
competitiveness of its industry. The simplification of the existing patent
system will bring particular benefits to small and medium-sized enterprises and
to innovators in universities and research centres," said EPO President
Benoît Battistelli. "I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely
thank all those involved at European level for their help in making this
historic decision a reality," he added.
After lengthy discussions, the member states agreed that Paris
should be the seat of the court's central division, with clusters in Munich and London.
The European patent court will be set up on the basis of an international
treaty and will have exclusive jurisdiction in infringement and revocation
proceedings involving European and unitary patents.
This decision paves the way for the adoption of the unitary patent,
replace the requirement for national validation procedures with a single
reduce costs and dramatically simplify the present cumbersome method of
access to patent protection in Europe. The EPO
has been designated as the competent authority for granting the unitary
and will administer it centrally on behalf of the 25 EU members which
have agreed to participate. This will entail a number of additional
tasks for the EPO, such as maintaining the register of unitary patents
collecting renewal fees.
"The EPO is well-prepared to carry out these further tasks on behalf of
the EU and the participant countries. We will be ready to start work as soon as
the unitary patent package enters into force," confirmed President