IP Federation supports EU patent reform
31 March 2011
The President of the IP Federation has written to Baroness Wilcox, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, making the following points:
- The IP Federation has been following closely the developments regarding patents in the EU, in particular the Opinion of the Court of Justice on the European and EU Patent Court (1/09) dated 8 March 2011, and the Competitiveness Council decision of 10 March 2011 to authorise Enhanced Cooperation on creation of the EU patent.
- There have been suggestions that the dossiers on the European and EU Patent Court on the one hand, and creation of the EU Patent on the other, could be decoupled. Although the IP Federation accepts that this might assist timelines and process, it is our view that the two issues are inextricably linked, and cannot be considered in isolation from each other.
- The ultimate purpose of a patent is to give its proprietor the right to stop others from using his or her invention without permission. This right has to be enforced through the courts. There is a danger that this ultimate purpose will be lost sight of in a decoupled approach.
- Consequently, we are opposed to any split that could result in there being an EU Patent without a court ready to enforce it. At a recent meeting we attended, this was aptly compared to “making a car without a motor”.
- There is understandable enthusiasm amongst the Member States involved in Enhanced Cooperation to create an EU Patent, but the arrangements must not be rushed through. It is important that all aspects are taken fully into account before any final decisions are made.
- The current proposals are certainly a step forward, and we are pleased that measures are being taken to give innovators the option to protect their inventions at an affordable cost. See also our Policy Paper PP01/11.