February 20, 2013

Ministers signed Unitary Patent Court agreement

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(-> Version Française)

Brussels, 20 February 2013 – After almost 40 years of deliberations the Irish Presidency managed to get most European member states to formally sign an agreement on a Unitary Patent Court without European substantive patent law. The Court would be seated in three member states. Contrary to rumors Italy and the Czech Republic signed the agreement. Poland and Spain boycott it. A court case from Italy and Spain is pending at the European Court of Justice.

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) predicts that a new Patent Court would serve as a duel ground for confrontations between larger industrial corporations and further undercut the role of the legislator. A launch of the patent court in 2014 is unlikely for legal reasons, among them a required reform of the Brussels I package (EC 44/2001) and the pace of a formal ratification process.

FFII vice president Rene Mages declares: “The Unitary Patent dossiers are driven by a very active patent microcosm and its vested interests. I call on Commissioner Barnier to first harmonise patent legislation in the single market. We need legal certainty what is patentable or not. Cryptocracy is no alternative to a democratic process in these substantive matters.”

Background information

Contact information

FFII Office Berlin
Malmöer Str. 6
D-10439 Berlin
Fon: +49-30-41722597
Fax (office service): +49-721-509663769
Email: office (at) ffii.org
http://www.ffii.org

About the FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in twenty European countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.