European Parliament approves EU unitary patent rule

The EU Parliament has just approved the European Patent, whose not so nice technical name is “the EU patent package”. This package is composed of three parts, the unitary patent, the language regime and the unified patent court.

The new patent will automatically be valid in all 25 EU member states taking part (Spain and Italy are currently outside the new regime, but could decide to join in at any time). The EU patent taxes will costs precisely €4,725 when the new system is up to speed, compared to the average of €36,000 needed today for the same protection. Consequently, the new regime will offer a more effective protection for a lower price.

The application will have to be filed in English, German or French before the European Patent Organisation. If filed in another language, a translation into one of these three languages will be required. The translation costs will be fully refunded for EU-based small and medium-sized companies, non-profit organizations, universities and public research organizations.

Each part of the package should come into effect on January 1st, 2014.