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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Briefings

Patent Law Series - Update: The EU Patent - (Finally) One Step Closer!

28 February 2011

The European Commission has been trying to create an EU patent for several decades. We reported last summer on a potential breakthrough on the thorny issue of language rules, but this ultimately failed to materialise at talks held in November 2010. The Commission's efforts looked to have run into a dead-end, but Germany and a number of other member states were not prepared to give up. They came up with a plan to introduce an EU patent in certain member states on the basis of the principle of "enhanced cooperation". The European Parliament officially approved the proposal last week (15 February). It therefore appears that cost-effective supranational patent protection may not be too far off for twelve member states, including Germany, the UK, France and the Netherlands.

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