Italy and Spain in Court Bid to Stop EU Patent

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The staff at Franks & Co were saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with His Majesty King Charles III and the rest of the Royal Family.

The United Kingdom is now officially in a period of mourning until after the Queen’s state funeral which is to be held on Monday 19 September. Normal day-to-day business will continue throughout this period.

The UK government has declared the day of the funeral to be a national Bank Holiday, so the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office will be closed on Monday 19 September.

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office’s official guidance on bank holidays is given below:

The office is deemed to be closed on weekends, Good Friday, Christmas Day and all England and Wales bank holidays for all types of business, except for the filing of new applications not claiming priority. If documents are filed for these types of business at times when the office is deemed to be closed, they will receive an official filing date of the next working day.

Any official time period which expires on a weekend or any other day on which the office is closed is extended to the next working day.

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At the moment in Europe, patents are granted according to the European Patent Convention.

The European Patent Convention is an international treaty, although many member states are also members of the European Union. Currently European Union wide patents are not presently granted under EU legislation and the present European patent results in a bundle of individual national patents.

For several decades, there has been a proposed European Community patent (now called EU patent) which would cover the whole of European Union. However, attempts to make the EU patent a practical reality have always stumbled on the issue of translations.

The latest proposal to go ahead with the EU patent in the languages of English, French and German has won the support of 25 EU member states, but excluding Italy and Spain.

Italy and Spain have repeatedly blocked the implementation of the EU patent, on the grounds that its implementation would require unanimous approval by all EU states, and Italy and Spain are withholding their approval.

The latest development is as follows:

"Italy and Spain have lodged a complaint with the European Court of Justice against the plan to go ahead with the EU patent without them.

The EU patent is backed by 25 member states and is being introduced under the "enhanced cooperation" procedure, after failure to obtain unanimity due to opposition to the proposed language scheme (English, French and German) from Italy and Spain.

In a statement, the Italian Foreign Ministry said it had lodged the complaint with the court to defend the values of the union against abuse.

Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier said: "I am confident that the enhanced co-operation procedure presented by the Commission is not discriminatory. We are assured that Italian and Spanish business will suffer no discrimination."

Competitiveness ministers are to discuss the issue at a special meeting on 27 June in Luxembourg."

Quotation source: Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market.

Article Published June 9, 2011