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Monday, 5 December 2011

Live Update: Competitiveness Council has "reached an agreement on the patent package"

Deputy Prime Minister
Waldemar Pawlak
At a bit before 3:00 PM GMT, a press conference of the Competitiveness Council on the Internal Market and Industry was held following this morning's debate (click here for video). The Amerikat reported earlier that according to the revised Agenda, the legislative policy debates on the creation of unitary patent protection and translation arrangements that were scheduled this morning were removed from the Agenda. This, she thought, explained why this morning after streaming 5 minutes on SMEs and business competitiveness the Council's cameras were switched off. The AmeriKat is utterly perplexed why any European policy debate should not be public, however she cared a bit less when she thought it was because the Council was not debating on patent legislation. Apparently, however, it appears the Council was indeed busy reaching agreements on the patent proposals - it seems we just were not allowed to know what was going on.

In the press conference Chair of the Competitiveness Council, Mr.Waldemar Pawlak (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy for Poland) said this (again, the AmeriKat was transcribing live, so there may be some errors):

"On 5 December we reached an agreement on the patent package,so when all procedural issues are finalized, this package will be adopted by Counciland Commission in first reading. We have been discussing issues of the unified patent court. There are a number of outstanding issuesstill pertaining to the unified patent court and unitary patent protection. Ido hope that we will reach an agreement on this issue that would be a historicmoment for European entrepreneurs and Europe because then we would have an agreement on the unitary patent system… All those legal acts that have an impact on competitiveness should be analyzed and assessed and evaluated by Competitiveness Council. All of those legal acts thathave impact on entrepreneurs and costs they should be assessed from the point of view of competitiveness."
Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier also stated that he hoped that they could reach an agreement on all aspects of the patent protection The AmeriKat finds it difficult to comment on this because she has no idea what has been agreed. The EU ministers have "reached an agreement" but on what?

There is a further scheduled debate on unitary patent protection on the translation requirements at 5:30 CET ( watch here) which should be in public. Any debates on the unified patent court may not be televised, as suggested by @ManagingIP who understands that the cameras will again be switched off because the agreement on the unified patent court is an international agreement, not European Union business as the EU is no longer as signatory to the draft agreement. The AmeriKat will be back to update and report as and when further information is forthcoming.


Steve Peers said...

If the legislation was actually discussed with the cameras turned off, that is an outrageous breach of EU law. But it may be that the ministers simply noted that the legislation was agreed by Coreper last Friday. The press release of the Council, when it comes, may make this clearer.

EUobserver is saying talks on the location of (the bits of) the patent court will last 'way into the night'...

James Nurton said...

Professor Peers - we understand that the Coreper agreed the 2 regulations and the deal with the Parliament on Friday, as you suggest. That's why they're off the agenda today.

We also understand that the court is being discussed as an international agreement and not part of the EU framework which is why it is not televised.

Obviously this is a fluid situation today and we are doing our best to provide updates on our website and on twitter. Interestingly M. Barnier is also tweeting (in French, inevitably).

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