The European Patent Office (EPO) announced an agreement that the court's central division would be located in Paris with other courts in Munich and London. The EPO stated the European patent court would have exclusive jurisdiction in infringement and revocation proceedings of European and unitary patents.
This decision could pave the way for the adoption of a single European patent, sometimes referred to as a unitary patent. This would replace the national validation procedures with a single step, reducing costs and streamlining the present cumbersome arrangements for obtaining patent protection in Europe.
The EPO would grant the unitary patent and centrally administer it on behalf of the 25 EU members which have agreed to participate and maintain the register of unitary patents and collect renewal fees.
A European Patent Court and single European patent have been discussed for decades, but when the EU follows through it should simplify the current system and benefit small and medium-sized companies.
Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.