Summer Edition 2017
We welcome you to the Summer 2017 edition of our newsletter. We are pleased to share with you our achievements and our development as a translation vendor.
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The idea of a European patent with unitary effect has been around for over forty years.After being subject to several different reports, this system may finally be put into practice in 2018. At least, this is the belief of Benoît Battistelli, president of the European Patent Office (EPO). In order for the agreement to enter into force, it must necessarily be ratified by thirteen member states, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the three European countries with the greatest number of patent applicants.
If a company wants to obtain a patent with unitary effect, it must first present a traditional European patent application before the EPO and subsequently, within the term of one month after the patent is granted, request the unitary protection. In this context, "unitary" means that the patent will offer identical protection over the company's industrial property for ten years in all of the member states of the European Union that have ratified the agreement. Therefore, companies will no longer be required to undertake the relevant procedures in twenty-six different countries. A Unified Patent Court will also be created, with headquarters in London and supranational jurisdiction.
Twelve countries have already signed the agreementAt present, the agreement has been signed by France and a further eleven countries. The signature of the president of the Republic of Germany is still pending. With regards to the United Kingdom, it will continue to be a member of the European Union for the next two years and it is in favour of ratifying the agreement, as most recently confirmed in May 2017. In this respect, it is worth remembering that the EPO is an organisation that is independent from the EU. It is therefore entirely feasible for the United Kingdom to sign the agreement, provided that a series of provisions are adopted to make it possible to adapt the agreement when the country leaves the EU in two years time.
Much more cost-effective proceduresWhile companies that want to protect their industrial property in several different countries must currently pay out over 30,000 euros, with the new system, costs will be reduced by 70%, meaning that the cost per company will be slightly higher than 5,000 euros.
Spain has opposed the system due to the fact that German, French and English will be adopted as the three official languages for the registration of patents. In fact, this decision can be explained by the fact that 80% of patents originate from Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, SME's will be entitled to compensation of 500 euros to offset the translation costs to one of these three languages.