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19 June 2015
EPO President Benoît Battistelli addressed the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) in Brussels on 15 June at the invitation of JURI Chairman Pavel Svoboda MEP.
The President gave Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) an introduction to the European patent system and the EPO's role and objectives, before updating them on the state of play of the unitary patent and the harmonisation of the global patent system. He stressed that successful cooperation between the EPO and the European Parliament - in particular with the JURI committee - was a key asset in finalising the unitary patent package.
JURI members welcomed the President's timely intervention, after the Court of Justice of the EU's recent dismissal of appeals by Spain against the unitary patent regulations, and with the discussion with the participating member states on the level of unitary patent fees still ongoing. Both the Committee Chair and Vice-Chairman Axel Voss MEP expressed support for the EPO's latest proposal to the Select Committee on the level of renewal fees. Mr Voss described it as a good compromise, which he encouraged member states to support.
During the exchange, members of different political groups restated the importance of patents for the European economy. MEPs were also interested in upcoming challenges for the EPO and put questions to the President on internal reforms, the future of the patent system and substantive patent law harmonisation in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.