In what has been claimed to be a breakthrough, the EU Competitiveness Council, empowered by the reforms of the EU under the Lisbon Treaty, has agreed:
- the main features of a future European and EU Patents Court (EEUPC); and
- a draft Regulation for an EU Patent, i.e. a single patent covering the entirety of the European Union.
The next step in the new patent court will be a legal opinion from the European Court of Justice. Meanwhile, the European Parliament will debate the EU Patent Regulation.
The draft Regulation does not, unfortunately, yet address the translation requirements which are seen by many to be the main stumbling block to the adoption of the EU Patent and the EEUPC. These translation requirements will instead be dealt with in a separate Regulation.
The issuance of the draft Regulation is welcome progress. It can only be hoped that by focussing on the translation requirements in a separate Regulation, agreement on that issue can be more quickly reached.