EUROPEAN PATENT SYSTEM AND ITS FUTURE PROSPECTS by hcj

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									THE EUROPEAN PATENT
SYSTEM AND ITS FUTURE
PROSPECT
Arūnas Želvys, Lithuanian Patent Office
Summary
   European patent system

   Problems of the system

   Possibile solutions
STATUS QUO
Several Layers of Protection
   European patents

   National patents (granted on national and PCT
    applications)

   In some countries – “small” patents, or utility models
European Patents
   European Patent Convention

   38 Member States

   Unitary patent grant procedure
    and opposition

   Non unitary:
   Validation (translations)
   Enforcement (jurisdictions)
European Patent Validation
   Validating European patent means translating patent and
    paying the state fee

   Validation in EPC states is different:

   London Agreement has reduced translations costs.
   However, London Agreement is not valid in 22 EPC states
    now. Majority of them require translations both of
    description and claims
   For rest of the EPC states only translation of claims is enough
    or no translations at all
Costs of Translations
   Validation costs can amount to 40% of the overall costs
    of patenting in Europe
   A European patent validated in 13 countries costs as
    much as 20 000 EUR, of which nearly 14 000 EUR
    arises from translations alone.
   European patent more than 10 times more expensive
    than a US patent costing about 1 850 EUR
   85 EUR per translated page (average). Typical length
    20 pages.
   Official fees vary from 25 to 400 EUR.
European Patent Enforcement
   Enforcement is different:

   Legal dispute means dispute only in that country
   Who can afford to litigate in 38 EPC member states?
   Speed of the case is particularly different
   Assessment of evidence and other rules of proceedings
    are different
   The decisions may also be different!
Costs of Enforcement
   Between 146 and 311 infringement cases are
    being duplicated in the Member States. By 2013,
    this number is likely to increase to between 202 and
    431 cases.

   Total private savings from having access to a
    unified Patent Court in 2013 would span the
    interval between EUR 148 and 289 million.
Costs of the Enforcement
   Multiple litigation in UK, NE, DE, FR costs vary from
    €310,000 before up to €3.6 million when
    accounting for the cost of appeal at second
    instance.
National Patents
   Every European state has its own patent system. Substantial principles of
    patent systems are almost the same.

   Some states have substantial patent expertize, some preliminary expertize

   Only some aspecs are unitary within the EU: botech patents, supplementary
    protection certificates for medicinal and plant protection products, rules on
    enforcement (not the enforcement institutions)

   In principle, non unitary:
     Procedure up to grant
     Enforcement
National Utility Models
   “Small patents” with softer
    patentabilty criteria

   Only some states have utility
    models systems

   But all of them have their
    patent systems
No Unitary Patent
   Europe has no unitary patent at all

   This is NOT OK for businesses....
System is Fragmented
   In other words, system is fragmented

   Fragmentation is expensive

   Not only for bussinesses, but for states as well

   ...and creates legal uncertainty
Directions to Go
   Doing nothing is not the best option

   Europe has pleny of competitors in the world that
    are doing their bussiness much and much better
SOLUTIONS TO BE MADE
Something Unitary is Necessary
   Unitary patent system for Europe?

   Unitary procedure up to grant – already exists
   Unitary validation - none
   Unitary enforcement - none

   EU patent and unified litigation system - sounds
    good, but very hard to archieve
   Initiative burns and rebornes periodically
EU patent
   A patent which covers all the EU – 27 member
    states. Similar to Community trademarks of
    Community designs

   The same European patent, which is extended to the
    teritory of the EU

   In principle, should be unitary in granting procedure,
    validation and enforcement stages
Unitary litigation system
   One litigation system for EU and European patents

   First Instance, Appeal Instance Court and Registry

   First Instance Court – central, local and regional
    divisions

   Significant only if it is enacted altogether with EU
    patent
Unitary patent
   There is no consent on the EU patent mainly because
    of different opinions on patent translations.

   Why? Are there any reasonable solutions?

   Unitary litigation system – complex, but plausible.
Benefits for Businesses of Turkey

   In case unitary patent system revives...
   EU territory may be covered by unitary EU patent
   European patent may still be validated in any EPC
    country
   Unitary litigation system for both EU and European
    patents
   Global competitiveness is increased
     Thank you!
       Arūnas Želvys
Head of Law and International
       Affairs Division
  Arunas.Zelvys@vpb.gov.lt

The State Patent Bureau of the
     Republic of Lithuania
       www.vpb.gov.lt

       Ankara, Turkey
        2011-01-26

								
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