Monday, 27 January 2014

Will Denmark vote in favour of unitary patent?

As reported earlier, Denmark will hold a referendum to decide their participation in the unified patent court and unitary patent.

The decision is important for many reasons. Of course, Denmark would provide one more signature under the agreement, towards the goal of 13. So participation of Denmark makes the unitary patent more likely for all of us. More importantly, although Denmark may be one of the smaller EU countries it is nevertheless an important economy of the EU, the 11th in size. I consider part of the value of the future unitary patent to be its completeness. The ability to secure Europe with comparatively little overhead is definitely one of it selling point. It is already a pity that some countries are not joining, e.g., Spain, Poland, and Italy.

Moreover, there have been plans to create one large regional divisional of the unified patent court (UPC), that would serve the entire Nordic region.  Such a Nordic court could take infringement and revocation decision in first instance for Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Baltic states. If Denmark were to drop out, that would make this prospect much less appealing.

Having a single court that can decide on patent matters for most countries, instead of having expensive fragmented decisions, or the prospect of a more valuable European patent apparently appeals to the Danish population as well; According to a recent poll, the population of Denmark would vote in favor of joining the unitary patent.  If the referendum were held today, and not on May 25, 56% would vote in favor of the unitary patent. I'll keep my fingers crossed until then. 

See latest news: Denmark votes in favor of unitary patent

Monday, 6 January 2014

Dutch government expects unitary patent to reduce regulatory burden by 11.3 million euro

The Dutch government has published their autumn report on reducing 'regulatory burden'.  The report includes an annex containing the steps taken to reach the goal 2.5 billion worth of reduction. Among the 45 pages (!) listing many many measures, I was pleased to find one labeled 'Unitary patent protection'. Below is the Dutch description, taken from page 20:
25 Lidstaten van de EU voeren een ‘unitaire octrooibescherming’ in. Dit betekent dat bedrijven die in Europa een octrooi willen aanvragen dit niet meer in al die Lidstaten apart hoeven te doen, aangezien het mogelijk zal zijn om een EU octrooi in 25 EU landen tegelijk te valideren. Een octrooihouder die voor deze route kiest zal niet meer worden geconfronteerd met nationale administratieve verplichtingen en vertaaleisen. Dit scheelt veel bureaucratie en kosten, vooral vertaalkosten. 

Wanneer alle octrooihouders hiervan gebruik maken, nemen de aan validatie in Nederland verbonden administratieve lasten af met maximaal 11,3 mln. De aan validatie van een unitair octrooi verbonden administratieve lasten en vertaalkosten kunnen nu nog niet goed worden ingeschat, maar zullen vele malen geringer zijn dan de kosten die octrooihouders nu nog in alle landen waar bescherming wordt gezocht, moeten maken. Tegelijkertijd met de totstandkoming van een Europees octrooi wordt voorzien in een geschillenbeslechting op Europees niveau.

Below is an English translation (edited form Google Translate):