Tuesday

23rd Jan 2018

Member states squabble over seat of EU patent tribunal

  • Paris has not yet won the seat for the patent litigation court (Photo: Moyan Brenn)

EU ministers on Monday (5 December) failed to agree on the seat and the funding of a unified patent court, with Paris, London and Munich fighting for the headquarters.

A compromise "package" drafted by the Polish EU presidency got the support on most of the issues, except the seat of the main litigation court for the upcoming EU patent - with Britain and Germany refusing to cede it to France, as envisaged by the presidency, one EU diplomat told this website.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The court seat could bring millions of euros in revenues to the country hosting it, as it would attract a flurry of legal offices and other related businesses.

Under the non-contentious parts of the deal, Luxembourg would get the appeals court, Slovenia and Portugal two mediation and arbitration centres and Hungary a training facility.

"An agreement on the vital elements of the patent package substantially advanced by the Polish presidency may reduce the cost of obtaining the protection of inventions in the EU by as much as 80 percent," Polish economy minister Waldemar Pawlak said at a press conference late Monday night.

He insisted that the court seat is the only outstanding issue to be resolved in the coming weeks, in order for a final agreement to be signed on 22 December in Warsaw.

EU states have been fighting for over 30 years over a single patent scheme. The dossier was blocked for a long time due to a Spanish and Italian veto on the three official languages of the scheme - English, German and French. Both Rome and Madrid insisted that their languages also be included, despite the EU commission warning that the translation costs for five languages would make the patent too expensive.

A legal breakthrough arrived in 2009 with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which allowed the other 25 member states to go ahead with the scheme under the so-called enhanced co-operation mechanism.

With the appointment of former internal market commissioner Mario Monti as Prime Minister of Italy, EUobserver understands that Rome is also ready to join the scheme.

Monti was a strong promoter of the single patent project during his mandate in Brussels. Spain, meanwhile, has not indicated it will rethink its position.

Speaking to Italian journalists on Monday, EU affairs minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said Rome is only "partially" changing its position for now, accepting to join the jurisdiction of the future patents court, but still maintains its opposition to the language system.

Focus

Italy and Spain sue EU over patent language

Italy and Spain have lodged a complaint with the European Court of Justice over the discrimination of their national languages in an EU patent scheme endorsed by the other 25 member states.

Top EU court bans stem cell patents

The European Court of Justice has banned patents on stem cells extracted from human embryos that are then discarded, a ruling with wide-reaching implications for medical research in Europe.

German coalition deal aims for 'Macron-lite' EU renewal

Merkel and Schulz clear the first hurdle of coalition talks, but the SPD's full membership backing is still needed. The likely coalition parties express support for Macron's eurozone reform ideas, but remain cautious.

News in Brief

  1. Belgium lowers terror alert level
  2. France, Spain set to gain seats in post-Brexit EU parliament
  3. Orban family probed over 'fraudulent' EU projects
  4. Spanish judge rejects Puigdemont arrest warrant
  5. Austria plans to sue Commission over Hungary's nuclear plant
  6. Puigdemont proposed as sole candidate for Catalan leadership
  7. Abbas in Brussels to discuss Palestinian state recognition
  8. Exiled Catalan leader leaves Belgium for first time

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. EU stands by Palestine on Jerusalem
  2. MEPs may bar killer robots and drones from EU research cash
  3. Europe's social democrats are having a hard time
  4. How Oettinger's CO2 permit sale could fill Brexit blackhole
  5. New Polish foreign minister tries to charm EU commission
  6. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on agenda This WEEK
  7. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  8. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems