Green light for unified patent system

1 min read

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a one size fits all unified patent system.

The new system is on course for introduction in 2014 after almost four years of deliberation and planning. It is hoped that it will encourage European innovation and prompt an upswing in the number of patents filed in Europe – enabling EU countries to compete with the likes of the US and Japan. Delay in establishing the system was caused by disagreement among the European Parliament's Council of Ministers. However, the council gave its approval to the plan on Tuesday (11 December), and the European Parliament yesterday approved the move. Bernhard Rapkay, the lead MEP on the regulation, said: "The path towards the introduction of the EU patent was long and troubled, but ultimately it has been worth the effort. "Today's vote is good news for EU economy and especially for European SMEs." The new regime is expected to cut the cost of filing a patent by up to 80% and make it more effective in protecting the inventions of individuals and firms.