Community Patent (Extracted from: Commission press release ahead of the 19 May Competitiveness Council)

May 19, 2003

Brussels, 16 th May 2003

The Council will assess progress since the 3 March Council adopted a common political approach on the key points of the proposal (see MEMO/03/47 ), including the main outlines of the system of jurisdiction whereby a centralised Community Court would rule on disputes, the language regimes, costs, the role of national patent offices and the distribution of fees.

Council working groups have in the interim been discussing the technical details.

Mr Bolkestein will thank the Greek Presidency for its work, urge the future Italian Presidency to show equal determination on this matter and remind the Council that concluding a detailed agreement on the basis of the common political approach is urgent if the EU is to avoid losing its credibility and businesses are not to lose out.

The Community Patent was proposed by the Commission in July 2000 (see IP/00/714 and MEMO/00/41 ). It will give inventors the option of obtaining, with just one application, a single patent legally valid throughout the European Union at a fraction of the existing cost of doing so. At the moment, patent protection in just eight European countries costs some €50,000, around five times as much as in the US or Japan. The Community Patent, on the basis of the common political approach, would halve these costs to some €25,000 for a patent valid in 25 Member States.

DN: MEMO/03/110 Date: 16/05/2003

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