Thursday

19th Oct 2017

Brussels in fresh push to end EU patent saga

In a bid to bring down translation costs for European businesses and help them compete on the world market, the European Commission has suggested EU governments should accept patents in English, French or German.

On Thursday (1 July), the EU's internal market commissioner Michel Barnier said the current situation was "unacceptable."

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.

"Europe cannot be competitive if it is 20 times more expensive than in the US to patent an invention," the Frenchman told journalists at a news conference in Brussels.

The commission estimates that companies or inventors wishing to register their patent in 13 EU member states, for example, can pay up to €20,000 due to the huge translation costs. This compares to €1,850 in the US to register a patent.

By sticking to just three languages, Mr Barnier said the proposal would reduce translation costs from €14,000 to €700, bringing the overall cost of an EU-wide patent to €6,200.

The Belgian EU presidency, which starts today, has also declared that securing a solution to the long-standing issue is one of its goals for the next six months, but it is unclear whether the opposing capitals will back down.

If not, a collection of nine or more states could decide to push ahead by themselves.

European business organisation Eurochambres welcomed the commission's draft regulation.

"Heads of state can repeat their determination to create growth and jobs as often as they like, but it is specific measures like the EU patent that will really make a difference for our entrepreneurs and innovators," said Arnaldo Abruzzini, the organisation's secretary general.

Analysis

Juncker's euro-push could risk unity, warns eastern flank

The EU Commission chief hopes that as Emmanuel Macron pushes for euro area countries to integrate further creating a multi-speed Europe, central European members will be more inclined to join the single currency. Are they?

News in Brief

  1. EU summit moved to previous building after fumes scare
  2. Catalonia will 'not back down'
  3. New toxic incident in EU building ahead of summit
  4. Murdered Malta journalist's family invited to Parliament
  5. EU food safety chief denies keeping studies 'secret'
  6. EU states pledge 24,000 resettlement places so far
  7. US ready for arms sale to update Greece's F-16 fleet
  8. Austria's Green leaders step down following election failure

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. EU okays Privacy Shield's first year
  2. EU seeks to decrypt messages in new anti-terror plan
  3. EU agencies defend research ahead of glyphosate vote
  4. Spain points at elections as exit to Catalan crisis
  5. How EU can ensure Daphne Caruana Galizia's legacy survives
  6. Juncker dinner to warm up relations with eastern EU
  7. Court hearing in MEPs 'private' expenses battle
  8. The unbearable lightness of leadership