Ambitious approach to EU patents needed:
This article was originally published in Clinica
The European Commission has re-awakened prospects of a unitary patent applicable across the EU, proposing that the so-called Euro-patent be issued through the European Patent Office (EPO). The aim is for national, EPO and EU patents to co-exist, in the same way that the EPO issues, for example, Benelux patents within the EU. "Anything less than an ambitious approach will simply mean that we will not provide industry and research with the kind of patent they need," commissioner Frits Bolkestein told the European Parliament. The EPO, which was established under the 1973 European Patent Convention and whose membership is not limited to the EU, could begin to issue EU patents by the end of 2001. An earlier attempt to establish a Community patent through the 1975 Luxembourg Convention was never ratified.