Wednesday

7th Dec 2016

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.

"We hope that the Court can annul this decision, which has been one of the most divisive ones in the history of European integration," Vincenzo Grassi from the Italian foreign ministry said on Tuesday (31 March) in Brussels while attending a meeting of EU competitiveness ministers.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Both Rome and Madrid are fighting to have the EU patent automatically translated into Italian and Spanish as well, not only the current three working languages provided for by the European Patent Office: English, French and German.

But including two more languages would drive up the costs of an already pricier patent scheme than what can be obtained in the US, for instance, making it more cumbersome for smaller enterprises or individuals to apply.

The establishment of a single EU patent scheme to replace the patchwork of national rules and systems is estimated to save European businesses red tape costs of up to €750 million a year.

"I am confident that the enhanced co-operation procedure presented by the Commission is not discriminatory. We are assured that Italian and Spanish business will suffer no discrimination," internal market commissioner Michel Barnier said in a statement. He added that he hoped both Italy and Spain would soon join the rest of EU member states in endorsing a single patent scheme.

Apart from the language issue, the EU patent is meanwhile running into another legal hurdle after the ECJ ruled in March that the creation of a litigation court would not be compatible with EU law.

Competitiveness ministers are to hold special talks on the patent issue on 27 June in Luxembourg.

EU ministers approve 'Juncker plan' extension

The agreement to prolong the EU investment plan until 2020 to raise up to €500 billion will have to be confirmed by the parliament amid questions about its impact and functionning.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  2. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  3. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  4. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  5. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  6. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  7. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  8. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  9. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  10. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Transport and Mobility in Rome
  11. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  12. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)

Latest News

  1. EU fraud case sheds light on Danish and Polish politics
  2. Estonia and Finland have best EU science teaching
  3. Italy scrambles to save world's oldest bank
  4. Commission 'shockingly passive' on Lithuania gay rights
  5. Secret tax deals in Luxembourg in dramatic rise
  6. EU ministers approve 'Juncker plan' extension
  7. Commission tries to revive GMO opt-out proposal
  8. Merkel calls for Muslim veil ban