Via the IPKat's friend Stephanie Bodoni (Bloomberg) comes news, fresh from the very heart of Europe, that the political will to sort out a new European Union-driven patent system is being taken a step further. According to this charming and impeccable source:
"France, Germany and eight other nations pushed to create a Europe-wide patent system ... leaving out those countries that rejected the plans over language issues.
EU nations last month failed to break a deadlock on creating a region-wide system over isagreements on what languages should be legally binding. Belgium, which holds the rotating EU presidency until the end of the year, “has tried its utmost to find a compromise” for an EU-wide patent, the 10 countries said in a letter to the European Commission.
“It is clear that the objective of the creation of a unitary patent protection in the territory of the EU cannot be attained within a reasonable period of time by the Union,” the countries said in the Dec. 7 letter to Michel Barnier, the EU’s internal-market commissioner.
Attempts to reach an agreement since 2000 have faltered over the language issues. The 27 EU nations today share 23 official languages [Merpel wonders whether "share" is the right word here,given what the 27 nations do with their languages] and numerous compromise proposals have failed to satisfy political demands or risked increasing translation costs for companies.
“We are ready, we are prepared, to start the procedure” for creating a more harmonized EU patent system, Barnier told reporters in Brussels today. “The commission will present proposals on the future content of a single protection for patents across the EU.” The new plans ... will be based on the latest compromise proposed by Belgium, said Barnier. “Many more” than the 10 countries that signed the letter will join this so-called enhanced cooperation system, he said. The closest thing to a European Union-wide patent today is for companies to apply for a patent with the European Patent Office, which isn’t part of the EU and has 38 member countries. The patent then breaks up into a bundle of patents which companies must defend in each individual country.
...S pain was among the main opponents to the latest compromise proposals, rejecting the idea to make English, French and German the official languages of a new EU patent system. Spanish EU Affairs Minister Diego Lopez Garrido on Nov. 10 told EU ministers at a meeting in Brussels that the plans discriminated against the Spanish language. Spain supports an English-only system.
EU ministers will meet again in Brussels on Dec. 10 to discuss the new plan. The letter to Barnier was signed by France, Germany, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden".Previous recent posts here, here, here and here. Further developments are keenly awaited.