25 May 2011
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The European Commission (EC) has said it will move ahead with proposals presented in April to introduce unitary patent protection in Europe and work to create a unified patent court for classical European patents and future unitary patents. This announcement came at the presentation of the EC's new IPR strategy, which was adopted in Brussels today.
"In the last few years, technological change and, in particular, the growing importance of online activities, have completely changed the world in which IPR operate. The existing mix of European and national rules are no longer adapted and need to be modernised," the Commission said.
The introduction of a unified court will "considerably reduce litigation costs and the time it takes to resolve patent disputes," it continued. "It would also increase legal certainty for business."
"Ensuring the right level of protection of intellectual property rights in the single market is essential for Europe's economy. Progress depends on new ideas and new knowledge," said Michel Barnier, Commissioner for the Internal Market. "There will be no investment in innovation if rights are not protected."
The strategy also covers trade marks, geographical indications, multi-territorial copyright licensing, digital libraries, IPR violations and IPR enforcement by customs.