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On April 13th 2011, the European Commission has proposed a “regulation implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection”, that has now to be voted by the European Parliament and the Council of European Union.

This regulation is the last step in a series of attempts – that have failed for over sixty years – to set up a common patent valid in all Member States of the European Union (EU).

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Watch this video for a complete overview.

Despite the mandatory auto-congratulating communication from the Commission, the proposal is quite disappointing with regard to the major challenge posed: designing a patent system that would fulfil expectations, namely to efficiently foster innovation in Europe.

This site is an April's – French advocacy association devoted to promote and protect Free/Libre Software – initiative to bring an expertise to the European Parliament in order to get over these drawbacks by improving the regulation and to actually build a democratic innovation policy in Europe. It provides raw materials and tools to any citizen who wants to take part in this process.

The European Parliament has voted for the unitary patent regulation on Tuesday December 11, 2012. Nevertheless, the story ain't over. Stay tuned for any news in the following months.

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Only Gandalf can protect Europe from the Unitary Patent

GandalfNow that, despite all legal, political and economic issues, the European Parliament has approved the regulation on the unitary patent, just as anticipated, it is time to move away from the legislative battle. The unitary patent has still a long way to go before becoming applicable. It is likely that it will be nothing more than a stillborn child. Meanwhile, the threat is hovering over European innovation and growth. It is time now to see whether and how Gandalf's magical powers can overcome the dark forces of Mordor.

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.

The Lord of the Unitary Patents: a preview on European Parliament plenary vote

my preciousNow that all amendments and the voting list have been published, it is quite easy to anticipate what will happen on Tuesday December 11th, 2012, during the plenary vote of the European Parliament (EP) on the unitary patent regulation. Nevertheless few people would find a way to understand what will exactly be voted. And it is likely that the vast majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) won't know themselves what is hiding behind the buttons they will push on. So here's the story behind shiny amendments numbers.

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.

Questions for MEPs who really want a single EU patent

While the regulation on the unitary patent is about to be voted by the European Parliament during its plenary session on December 11th 2012, its content is deceiving. It is crucial that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are made aware of issues surrounding the unitary patent. We are proposing here a set of questions that MEPs should have in mind in order to vote in accordance with theirs convictions.

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.