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Updates concerning the topics patents, trademarks & Designs

A uniform EU patent for 2016, a realistic possibility

Vienna. Anyone wanting to register a patent in the EU can do so at the European Patent Office EPO in Munich. An EU-wide validity is however not automatically acquired. The patent holder must decide at the end of the examination procedure, in which Member States the patent should be validated – however, translation fees are necessary. The German and European patent attorney Stephan Naessens states the following. If a patent infringement is committed in one or more validated states, the national courts of those States involved are responsible for the various infringement proceedings. "High costs, the risk of diverging decisions and lack of legal certainty are the result," Naessens states.

EU-wide validity

Such problems could soon be a thing of the past: After many years of negotiations the "European patent with a uniform effect" should come into force. "The implementation depends on the approval of the participating states and their willingness to establish a Community Patent Court", says Naessens. From 13 member states six have given their approval. The ‘Community Patent Court’ with its headquarters in Paris and regional offices in Munich and London, as well as regional chambers in the various Member States will be responsible for creating a unified patent litigation system.

The application for a ‘Community Patent’ is done at the EPO in Munich. New is the fact that the patent will be issued with a uniform effect for all 25 participating states and after a transition period no translations will required, providing the patent application has been filed in in one of the three official languages of the EPO, namely English, French or German. According to Naessens, a ‘Community Patent’ makes sense for companies operating, producing or servicing markets in various Member States. The decisive factor however, is ultimately, what are the costs involved for securing a ‘Community Patent’?

(Stephan Naessens, Wirtschaftsblatt)

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