(-> Version Française)
Brussels, 20 February 2013 – After almost 40 years of deliberations the Irish Presidency managed to get most European member states to formally sign an agreement on a Unitary Patent Court without European substantive patent law. The Court would be seated in three member states. Contrary to rumors Italy and the Czech Republic signed the agreement. Poland and Spain boycott it. A court case from Italy and Spain is pending at the European Court of Justice.
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) predicts that a new Patent Court would serve as a duel ground for confrontations between larger industrial corporations and further undercut the role of the legislator. A launch of the patent court in 2014 is unlikely for legal reasons, among them a required reform of the Brussels I package (EC 44/2001) and the pace of a formal ratification process.
FFII vice president Rene Mages declares: “The Unitary Patent dossiers are driven by a very active patent microcosm and its vested interests. I call on Commissioner Barnier to first harmonise patent legislation in the single market. We need legal certainty what is patentable or not. Cryptocracy is no alternative to a democratic process in these substantive matters.”
Council signing ceremony (Brussels 19 February 2013): http://ceuvideo.eu/775-982-12538?userRecIn=2388&userRecOut=3138
European Commissioner Barnier’s speech (Brussels 18 February 2013) : http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-132_en.htm
Gérald Sédrati-Dinet explains open technicalities: http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2013/01/the-battle-of-tablets-dutch-court.html?showComment=1359070937039#c4303215358014739072
Alfons Schäfer’s call for a real EU patent system (Interview with SUEPO): http://www.suepo.org/public/interviews/ex08004cpe.pdf
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About the FFII
The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in twenty European countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.