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Euro MP Sharon Bowles calls on UK Government to support deal on European Patent Court

June 27, 2012 3:00 PM
Originally published by Sharon Bowles

Liberal Democrat Euro MP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has today called on the UK Government to support a proposed deal on the location of the new European Patent Court.

A European patent that covers the whole of the single market, rather than the current system which requires patents to be registered in European countries separately and at greater cost (including substantial translation costs), has been on the table for over four decades.

Last year, the 40 year long battle over which languages should be admissible came to an end with the decision of 25 EU Member States to push ahead with the creation of a common patent regime without the involvement of Italy and Spain. However, for the past 6 months, France, Germany and the UK had blocked further progress over a disagreement on the possible location of the new European Patent Court. Now a compromise deal has been proposed by Council President Herman van Rompuy to end the stalemate at the European Council this week.

Commenting ahead of the European Summit this Thursday and Friday in Brussels, Ms Bowles, who is also the Parliament's only European patent attorney, said:

"The European Parliament has long supported the creation of a single European patent to boost innovation and business opportunities across the EU.

"It is time for Member States to stop blocking the single European patent. We managed to break the stalemate over the language issue. Now it is time to end the deadlock over the European Patent Court's potential location.

"The proposed compromise to split the new court across three different countries and cities - namely Munich, Paris and London - is a workable solution and will ultimately be a big boost to all involved.

"Patents have always fallen into various categories such as chemical and engineering with different basic problems. So separation by subject matter is no problem as clusters of experience will easily align with this.

"I hope the Coalition Government will go ahead and support this deal at the European Summit this week in Brussels"