Syndicate content


The European Union under the threat of patents, a column by D. Cohn-Bendit and M. Rocard

On July 4th, 2012, while examining the issue of a single European patent, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will have the opportunity to reaffirm the autonomy of the Union to decide on its innovation policy, warn Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Michel Rocard : “What is at stake is the urgent need for a Europe, which suffers from a growing democratic deficit, to not waive its power for the benefit of a body, the Patent Office in Munich, whose mission is not to act in the best interests of European businesses and citizens.”

Unitary Patent: Keys for European Patent Office and Door to European Parliament

Paris, December 11th, 2012. Press Release. – On Tuesday December 11th, 2012, the European Parliament voted for the regulation on the unitary patent: Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have eventually accepted the text despite all legal, economic and political concerns over which we had warned them1.

Big European businesses ask European Parliament to reject Unitary Patent

On the eve of European Parliament plenary vote on the unitary patent regulation, Ericsson, Nokia and BAE have written to Members of the European Parliament, asking them to reject the text. The reason put forward by these major European firms is that the current text would do more harm than good to European business.

Unitary patent: Poland could leave the vessel, the European institutions still in denial

Only a few days before the debate and vote on the proposed unitary patent on December 10th and 11th, 2012, new information is still coming to reinforce further the project's lack of any viability:

  • The Polish Parliament has just asked the Polish government to get out of the unitary-patent agreement, because it considers the latter dangerous for businesses1.
  • In parallel, a demonstration organized by No Patents On Seeds brought together more than 500 people in front of the the European Patent Office in Munich to protest against the project2. This international organization especially emphasizes the excessive powers granted to the EPO and the lack of any democratic control over the future of the unitary patent3.
  • The resolution proposed by April has received, from companies from all over Europe, over 600 signatures, which were sent to all MEPs on December 7th, 2012.
  • Other economic players are also mobilizing. OpenForum Europe4, for instance, asked MEPs to review the text and to take the time required to study it in order not to stifle innovation5.
  • One MEP, Eva Lichtenberger, wrote an open letter to all her colleagues to inform them of these dangers.

Unitary Patent: crazy schedule ahead, MEPs asked to take a step back and think it through

The plenary regarding the unitary patent is looming, with the deadline for amendments tabled in less than 24 hours, on Wednesday, Dec 5th 2012 at noon.

As Eva Lichtenberger (Greens/EFA) recently sent a letter to her fellow MEPs, asking them to take to time to actually discuss the patent package before pushing it forwards, April compiled the agenda for the next steps on the dossier, in order to emphasize the need for postponement of the vote and for a real debate on the current patent package.

Unitary Patent: Eva Lichtenberger sends an open letter to her fellow MEPs

Eva Lichtenberger, a Green/EFA Member of the European Parliament, sent on Tuesday, Dec 4th 2012 an open letter to all MEPs, warning them of the threat posed by the unitary patent and asking them to postpone the vote, in order to have a real debate and ensure the legality of the patent package.

Unitary Patent: the legal services of the European Parliament confirm doubts about illegalities, MEPs plunge ahead

Paris, November 28th, 2012. Press release. – On Monday, November 26th, 2012, the legal affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament held an exchange of views with the legal services1 on the legality of the Cypriot compromise on the unitary patent regulation. Once again, the illegalities of the project have been made obvious, but nonetheless the European Parliament seems decided to go forward. April calls for a re-examination of the text and the possibility to amend it, to ensure legal certainty.

Unitary Patent Not Compliant with EU Law

During the meeting of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament, on Monday, November 26th, 2012, the legal services of the European Parliament have confirmed some “reservation” about the legality of the last version of the regulation, as proposed by the Cyprus presidency of the EU Council. Moreover, some doubts have been raised about the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union to rule on the patentability of software.

Unitary Patent: a compromise that excludes the Parliament, the European law and its companies

Paris, the 21st of November 2012. Press Release. – On Monday 12th of November, the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament held an extraordinary debate about the unitary patent, which was attended by Michel Barnier, the European Commissioner in charge of internal market. According to our sources, he has welcomed with the compromise found in the Council by the Cypriot Presidency. However, and as April highlighted it, this solution infringes the Union Law, and does not provide any democratic safeguard. These questions have been cleared out, even though the Commission is aware about the likely unlawfulness of this project.

UPDATE: We have got audio recordings, with the English translation provided by the linguistic services of the European Parliament

European Parliament demands that Council stops derailing Unitary Patent

Paris, October 11th, 2012. Press release. – On Thursday, October 11th, 2012, the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament held an exchange of views regarding the Unitary Patent. Despite a rather short debate, some important issues were discussed by MEPs, who focused on the Council's attempt to reduce the role of the European Parliament in the co-decision process. Everything is still on the table, with a real possibility for MEPs to step up and affirm their role on defining the scope of patentability.