Open letter to MEP Berlinguer on EU patent

I just sent a letter to Member of the European Parliament Luigi Berlinguer on the EU patent.

Dear Mr Berlinguer,

About a year ago, we exchanged some emails on ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. You were an early critic of ACTA. Today I write to you to share my concerns about the unitary patent.

The unitary patent proposal shows a fundamental conflict. Should a general court, like the EU Court of Justice, have the last word in patent cases?

The patent incrowd dislikes any interference from a general court on patent law, as general courts also are knowledgeable about third party interests, competion law, public interest and human rights.

The patent incrowd does not want such influences on patent rights. Societies on the other hand, have to ascertain that patent law is given its proper place, that third party interests, competion law, public interest and human rights are taken into account.

Supported by the UK, the patent incrowd has won in the Council. The Parliament is about to agree with this.

The EU will leave the granting of patents to a non-EU organisation, the European Patent Organisation, without a role for the EU or the EU Court of Justice in this.

And the EU Court of Justice will hardly play a role in patent infringement cases, as there is hardly EU law on patents.

Private interests are about to win over the public interest, and unfortunately, you support amendments to that effect.

Patents can be a matter of life and death, like in medicines, seeds and our ability to fight climate change; and innovation is important strategically. The unitary patent, as proposed by the Council, is a charade, as ACTA would have been.

I urge you to support postponing the vote.

Yours sincerely,

Ante Wessels, FFII analyst

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