European Patent System is Unacceptable

A panel of experts have recently expressed their concerns that the current European patent system is far too expensive and is hindering competition rather than encouraging innovation.

The meeting on intellectual property rights which was hosted by the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (JURI) was held in order to debate issues of counterfeiting and the Community patent system.

 Academics, professionals and those from the relevant industries met to discuss the justification patents as a form of intellectual property protection. In particular it as highlighted that the current European patent system lacked legal certainty. The panel pointed out that there must be a correlation between IP rights and economic growth.

There was also criticism that the European patent system was far less efficient that perhaps the systems provided in Japan or the US.

Luis Berenguer, former MEP and President of the Tribunal for Competition of Spain warned that the current system could become “a rather protectionist instrument serving the interests of big companies”.

Common problems with the system were reiterated in particular the fact that SMEs can rarely afford to obtain and then defend a patent and are therefore restricted from the innovation market, now dominated by larger firms.

According to reports a patent filed before the European Patent Office can cost up to €100,000 which is double the cost of a Japanese patent and almost three times the cost of gaining patent rights in the US.

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