As Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy makes “one final effort” to break the impasse on the EU community patent, campaigners warn that the Commission’s proposal could bring back software patents “through the back door”.
Among the issues that the consultation paper addresses are:
- The basic principles and features of the patent system, such as transparency and cost-effectiveness of the application procedure, as well as dispute resolution
- Possible additional features, besides “unitary, affordable and competitive patent and greater legal certainty” that stakeholders would expect from the Community patent
- Bringing the European Patent Litigation Agreement and Community Legislation such as Council Regulation 44/2001 and the Directive on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in line with each other
- Approximation and mutual recognition of national patents
- Importance of different elements of the patent system
The central issue of the costs incurred in obtaining a community patent, accounted for mainly by translation costs, is not directly addressed by the consultation.