The European Parliament has moved a step closer to approving proposals to create a 12 country wide patent system in Europe.
It has long been recognised that patent systems in rival economies such as the US are much more beneficial (on a cost benefit analysis) to businesses because they are single systems. In particular translation costs for the various European countries can drive costs for an EU patent to around ten times the cost of a US patent.
The new plans involves a single patent system that covers: the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden.
Basically under the proposals a patent would be examined and granted in English, French or German and then have effect in any of the 12 countries in the scheme.