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Press Release - Agreement on the unitary patent protection package signifies successful end to long process
11.12.2012, 13:11 (CET)
The Cyprus Presidency welcomed today's positive vote by the European Parliament (EP) Plenary on the unitary patent protection package. Following the successful endorsement of the package by the Competitiveness Council yesterday, December 10, the long road of establishing this important system is coming to an end. The Cyprus Presidency is deeply satisfied that an agreement has been reached. The conclusion of the negotiations on Unitary Patent Package, which is a very complicated dossier with a long controversial history, has been a top priority of the Cyprus Presidency. Speaking in Strasbourg this morning at the joint debate of the EP's plenary session on the issue, Cyprus’ Justice and Public Order Minister, Mr. Loucas Louca said that the establishment of the unitary patent package successfully concluded a lengthy process which lasted over 30 years.  

“Even back in the 1970s, it was widely recognised that such a system would give a significant boost to the competitiveness of our innovative industry by creating a single market for inventions. Progress since then has been long and at times sporadic. But a conclusion is now in sight, and I want to begin by welcoming the fact that we are about to establish - finally - a unitary patent system,” Mr. Louca highlighted during his intervention before the Plenary vote.  

The unitary patent package is a result of enhanced cooperation between 25 Member States (Italy and Spain opted out of participating in it). The package comprises of the Unified Patent Protection Regulation, the Τranslations Regulation and the Unified Patent Court agreement.

The Cypriot Minister highlighted that the adoption of the unitary patent means that the cost of obtaining patent protection throughout the EU is expected to shrink by more than 80% and will thus enable European patents to become available at a competitive price and will become more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises.

“A unified patent system will be a cornerstone of our continuing efforts to stimulate economic growth and help Europe emerge from the current economic crisis,” added the Cypriot Minister.

“In order to take full advantage of the unitary patent, a specialised jurisdiction is needed, which will ensure the uniform application of the law and guarantee the legal security and the homogeneous application of such decisions throughout the European Union,” continued Mr. Louca.

To this end, a draft international agreement between Member States will be concluded next February with the aim of setting up a single, specialised patent court which will have exclusive jurisdiction on disputes related to European patents, including those with unitary effect.

A patent law of uniform applicability will halt the occurrence of multiple court cases and will prevent the existence of contradictory court rulings concerning the same patent in different Member States.

“The patent is so important for our future competitiveness that we could not afford to wait any longer than we have done already and hopefully, Italy and Spain will adopt the unitary patent in the near future,” added Mr Louca.

Mr. Louca thanked the EP for the excellent cooperation to deliver on this important dossier, welcoming the fact that “so many here this morning share the Council’s view that it is high time that we deliver on the patents package”.

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Marianna Karageorgis

Coreper I

Email: mkarageorgis@pio.moi.gov.cy
Telephone: +32 27404002
Mobile: +32 473858237
Head of Programme and Policy Coordination Unit
Irene Piki

Cyprus EU Presidency Secretariat

Email: ipiki@cy2012eu.gov.cy
Telephone: +357 22400145
Communications Officer
Poly Papavassiliou

Office of the Deputy Minister for European Affairs

Email: ppapavassiliou@cy2012eu.gov.cy
Telephone: +357 22400144
Counsellor for Legal Matters on Intellectual Property
Vicky Christoforou

Cyprus Permanent Representation of the EU
Intellectual Property
Email: vchristoforou@eudep.law.gov.cy
Telephone: +32 27404031

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