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The New Patent Law in New Zealand

A Vote For Unity – The Emergence Of The Eurocentral Patent Court And Unitary European Patent

6 years ago


Steven J. Hultquist                                                                 July 1, 2012

In contrast to the divisiveness of the current Eurozone economic debate, EU member states on May 29, 2012 agreed to locate the central division of the European Patent Court in Paris. 

Branches of the court will be sited in Munich, with specialization in mechanical technologies, and in London, which will have a concentration in biotech and pharmaceutical technologies.

The establishment of the European patent court, with exclusive jurisdiction of patent revocation and infringement proceedings involving European patents, completes the judicial structure for unitary European patents, which will now follow. 

The present grant of European patents requires validation of the European patent in the individual member states of the European Patent Convention, and requires patent enforcement efforts to be carried out in the courts of the corresponding member states.  This has led to inconsistent interpretation of patent claims and different results in infringement actions in different European countries.

Under the new arrangement, European Union Unitary Patents will be centrally granted, administered, and enforced.  Patent applications will be translated into the three official languages of English, French, and German. It will not be necessary to register the patent in individual countries.

Twenty-five European Union members have indicated that they will participate in the new system, which has been under discussion for almost 40 years in various forms. While Italy and Spain have declined to participate in the European Union Unitary Patent accord, the unitary European patent and centralized Patent Court will now become a reality, ushering in a new era in the evolution of proprietary rights in the EU.


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