THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has issued a single patent proposal to keep the EU competitive and in line with the US.
The EC said that current patent legislation is ten times more expensive in the EU than the US. EU members have to validate patents at a national level first, which creates yards of red tape to process. The EC said this stifles research, development and competition for EU members, drastically increasing costs and time.
"For Europe to be competitive globally, we need to encourage innovation. That's not the case today - it is far too expensive and complicated to obtain a patent," said internal market and services commissioner Michel Barnier.
"An EU Patent equally valid in all EU countries, is crucial to stimulate research and development and will drive future growth."
"Today's proposal - the last element of the patent reform package - is good news for innovators across Europe, in particular small businesses. I now hope that Member States will act quickly to ensure the EU patent becomes a reality. I am committed to working closely with all sides to reach a final agreement."
Our existing system has 37 countries vying for patent space and the EC claimed the extra bureaucracy adds ten times the costs. The EC estimated that it costs £16,400 to file and register EU patents while it costs only £1,500 to get a patent in the US. The EC's proposal guesstimates that it willl get costs down to £5,000. µ
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