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Conway welcomes progress on unified patent protection

2nd August 2013 - Senator Martin Conway

Fine Gael Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Justice, Disability and Equality, Martin Conway, has today (Friday) welcomed the decision of the EU Commission to establish a specialised European patent court, the Unified Patent Court, to make it easier for companies and inventors to protect their patents.

“I am delighted that progress is being made in this area which will result in innovators and entrepreneurs avoiding multiple litigation cases in up to 28 different national courts. It is of crucial importance for Europe’s competitiveness that innovators benefit as quickly as possible from the long awaited European unitary patent.

“In 2011, 224,000 patents were granted in the United States, in China that number was 172,000, while in Europe only 62,000 European patents were delivered.

“At present, someone seeking to obtain Europe-wide protection for their invention has to validate European patents in all 28 EU Member States. The patent holder may become involved in multiple litigation cases in different countries on the same dispute.

“Removing bureaucratic obstacles, extra costs and the legal uncertainty of having 28 different and often contradictory systems will make the single market far more attractive.

“I believe that the Court needs to be established as quickly as possible so that parties will be able to get swift and high quality decisions for all States where the patent is valid, instead of carrying out parallel litigation in national courts. It is a very good example of how justice policies can stimulate economic growth and I look forward seeing the benefits this new move will bring.”

Contact: Deborah Sweeney

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