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Patents: EU Action

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with EU counterparts on the European Community patent. (130485)

UK Ministers and officials have had ongoing discussions with the European Commission and others, following the consultation launched by the Commission in 2006 on the Community Patent and other initiatives to improve the European Patent system. Negotiations on a Community Patent have been ongoing for a number of decades, and have been complicated by questions around language and jurisdiction. As the European Commission Consultation in 2006 noted, there appears no imminent prospect of achieving the unanimity required in order to establish a Community Patent. The consultation aimed to find steps which could be taken to improve the European patent system in the near future, which would help us to make progress towards the long term goal of a Community Patent. We anticipate that the Commission will publish its Communication on those next steps in the next few months.