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On Tuesday May 5th, 2015, the Court of Justice of European Union has validated regulations on the unitary patent. This site is left open for archive purpose but isn't updated anymore.


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).

unitary patent presentation thumbnail
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 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.

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Academics confirm flaws in the unitary patent

A short time after the Commission has published its proposal for a regulation on the unitary patent, we have raised1 some serious concerns with regard to the very legality of the regulation and to the political issue of the governance of the European patent system. Now, some academic studies are confirming all issues we've raised one after the other. Such serious flaws cannot be ignored anymore and need to be addressed by the EU legislator. Failing to do so, the unitary patent would unavoidably be no more than a stillborn child.

Unitary Patent: Europe keeps burying its head in the sand

On May 30th, 2012, the Competitiveness Council of the European Union was expected to discuss the project of a unitary patent. Although the contents of the discussions are unknown, their result – a failure to reach an common agreement – points out how problematic this messed-up project is. Therefore, April calls once again the French government and Fleur Pellerin to reject the current text. The association also asks that discussions materials be published in order to shed light on every issue of this project.

Stop software patents now

Paris, May 16th 2012. Press release.

The next Competitiveness Council will be held on May 30th and 31st 2012. François Hollande's government will be attending it for the first time1. April calls upon the French president to take this opportunity to act against software patents and to bring up the flaws and the issues of the current unitary patent project.

  • 1. The "competitiveness" EU Council gathers the industry ministers of the EU Member States

Ten Written questions to the Commission and the Council

We have identified some serious drawbacks in the initial proposal of the Commission for a regulation on the unitary patent, that are still present in the compromise reached between the Council and the rapporteurs for the European Parliament, and has been voted without any change by the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). Moreover, we have provided a thorough analysing raising issues about the legality of the legal basis of this regulation. But these issues were never addressed by the negotiators of the EU institutions.

The plenary vote of the European Parliament has been postponed, officially until the Council has found an agreement about the seat of the central division of the Unified Patent Court, which is supposed to have exclusive competence over litigations concerning unitary patents. Members of the European Parliament MEPs) are urged the take advantage of this delay to officially raise the major issues surrounding the regulation on the unitary patent. The following questions could be asked by any MEP though written questions to the Commission and the Council.

Call to Action

The European Parliament is about to vote for a regulation on the unitary patent, during its plenary session, on December 11th, 2012.

The purported goal to have a single patent covering the whole Union may be praiseworthy. But this regulation, up to its very title, is actually very deceiving. Indeed, its content leaves the European Union (EU) aside in many aspects, leading to a fragmented patent system, which will be untamable by the democratic bodies of the EU. Instead the “patent microcosm” will gain amazing powers, while its governance has been highly criticised, specially with regard to its practice of granting software patents, against the letter and the spirit of European patent law.

You can change this fate by calling Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), urging them to vote for two compromise amendments n° 76 and 74. By doing so, two basic messages can be carried: POWER TO THE PARLIAMENT and NO SOFTWARE PATENTS!

For a complete understanding of Tuesday, December 11th plenary vote, read The Lord of the Unitary Patents: a preview on European Parliament plenary vote. See also, letters from Ericsson, Nokia and BAE asking MEPs to reject the text.

Members of European Parliament ask Santa Claus for a unitary patent

Brussels, Tuesday December 20th, 2011. Press release.

Members of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament have given a rubber stamp1 on an agreement, negotiated behind close doors2 with the Council, about the introduction of a unitary patent and a unified patent jurisdiction. Unfortunately, today's vote has failed to address major legal issues surrounding this project, which are likely to make the regulation voided by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Moreover, the architecture of the unitary patent as voted today betrays the withdrawal from European Union (EU) legislators in deciding about EU policy on innovation for the profit of the European Patent Office, a self-governed non-EU agency, which is notably known to favour software patents against the letter and the spirit of European Patent Law.

Amendments in JURI committee

Update: results of December 20 vote

Our voting recommendations are attached

All amendments filed by members of the committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), they are opened to comment by registered users on this website.

Available amendments:

Our voting recommandations are shown as follows:

  • +++: essential amendment, the regulation would be illegal if not voted.
  • ++: important amendment to be voted.
  • +: amendment that can be voted.
  • -: amendment that should be rejected.
  • --: amendment that is important to reject.
  • ---: dangerous amendment that has to be rejected.

After the vote of December 20th, results are shown as follows:

  • Amendment voted
  • Amendment rejected, fallen or withdrawn

Unitary patent: an undone “done deal”

On December 1st 2011, the Committee on Legal affairs of the European Parliament has published a press release welcoming with pride that negotiations about the unitary patent have succeeded in reaching a « final agreement » between the Council of the European Union and rapporteurs of the European Parliament. However, issues already raised by April, including questions on the legality of the adopted solution1, are not solved yet. Concerns about powers left to the European Patent Office, which is well-known for its attempts to legalise software patents2, have neither been addressed.

Update: the compromised agreement has been leaked and confirms our analysis that none of the serious issues with regard to the legal basis of the regulation have been addressed and that request from the patent microcosm to get the European Court of Justice as far away as possible from substantive patent law has been rejected.

Unitary Patent: vote by European Parliament ITRE Committee

On November 23rd, 2011 the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee of the European Parliament has given its opinion on the unitary patent, by voting in favour of the reports1 on the creation of a unitary patent and on the unified jurisdiction. The vote was characterised by a lack of enthusiasm and a blind conformity with the rapporteur's position, Alajos Mészáros. It should however be recalled that the ITRE committee was giving a mere opinion, and that it is the JURI committee that is responsible for this matter. On November 22nd 2011, the JURI committee decided to give a mandate to the rapporteurs for negotiations behind closed doors.

Unitary Patent: the debate will go on in secret

On November 22nd, 2011, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted for a mandate, allowing the rapporteurs on the proposal for a unitary patent to pursue negotiations with the Commission and the Council behind closed doors, without any involvement from the rest of the Members of Parliament or any reporting to citizens.