SLOVENIAN EU PRESIDENCY REVIVES DISCUSSIONS ON A COMMUNITY PATENT

In March last year the European Commission adopted program titled “Enhancing the patent system in Europe”. Based on this document, the Slovenian EU Presidency states that it wishes to re-launch the efforts to create a Community Patent System. On March 12 the Council will discuss the new working document proposed by the Presidency: Community patent: […]

In March last year the European Commission adopted program titled “Enhancing the patent system in Europe”. Based on this document, the Slovenian EU Presidency states that it wishes to re-launch the efforts to create a Community Patent System.

On March 12 the Council will discuss the new working document proposed by the Presidency: Community patent: translation of claims and distribution of revenue from fees.

According to this document in regard to translation arrangements for patent claims the following points have to be taken into consideration:

  • The community patent should have a unitary character and ensure uniform patent protection over the EU territory.
  • The cost of the Community patent must be affordable in order to facilitate its use by SMEs.
  • The proposed arrangements should ensure a high level certainty of the Community patent and make it effectively enforceable.

Therefore two options are put on the table for discussions:

1) The “flexible” Community Patent– this option would allow a reduction in translation costs by limiting the number of languages for which translations need to be provided.

2) Community Patent with translation performed by a central service– according to this option a newly created Central service will carry out translations for all required languages.

In regard to the second issue in the document namely the distribution of revenue received from the renewal fees for the Community Patent, the Presidency proposes the following procedures:

  • The Council should agree on the relevant criteria for the level of renewal fees and for the allocation of the 50% share being distributed among National patent offices.
  • A Select Committee would be established with the main goal to implement these criteria and fix both level of renewal fees and the precise distribution key for their allocation
  • The Select Committee shall periodically review its decisions, considering economic development and changes in patent activity. 

More information on this topic: http://www.epo.org/patents/law/legislative-initiatives/community-patent.html

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