European patent: - extracts from the joint debate

Type: News   Reference: 89782   Duration: 00:04:59  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 11/12/2012   First transmission: 11/12/2012
After over 30 years of trying, Parliament and the Council are close to agreeing on how to create an EU-wide patent regime to protect inventions better, cut costs and boost competitiveness. An EU patent granted under this system could cost €980, compared to €1,850 for a US one. The idea of a unitary patent valid throughout the European Economic Community was already being aired when it was founded in 1957. A "unified Community patent" was to be created by the Munich Convention in 1973, but the agreement never entered into force. After another unsuccessful attempt was the Luxembourg Agreement of 1989. In 1997, the European Commission published a Green Paper on the "Community patent", followed by a proposal in 2000. A revised proposal was then put forward in 2004, but sunk by disagreement on language issues. The current unitary patent proposal was tabled in 2011. The European patent with unitary effect relies upon three separate pieces of legislation (unitary patent, language regime and unified patent court), drawn up via three different procedures. Parliament's representatives negotiated the three acts together, as a package, with the Council of Ministers and the European Commission.

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00:00:00 TITLE European patent: - extracts from the joint debate 00:00:05
00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the European Parliament, Strasbourg 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (Greek) Loucas LOUCA, Council (English translation) : "I Think we're very close to setting up a European Patent system. The legal framework, would make it possible to have something which is simple and cheap. If you want to have access to high quality patents, which would be valid throughout the European Union." 00:00:15
00:00:25 SOUNDBITE (French) Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for internal market and services. (English translation) : "In 2011 The Americans submitted 224 000 patents, within one single year. In China, 172 000 patents in the same time. And, as did the President just said, we, in Europe just submitted 62 000 patents. One of the reasons, probably not the only one, of this, is the complexity and the cost of a patent protection in the Single Market." 00:00:47
00:01:12 SOUNDBITE (Slovakian ?) Alajos MESZAROS (EPP, SK) ITRE (English translation) : "We are not only talking about reducing costs, the Single Unitary Patent Protection System improves the completion of the Single European Market as well. Europe will be more competitive, it will be able to improve its position in terms of competitivety into the international set up. Companies will be able to use a single window system to submit their applications and won't need to do this on a Member State by Member State process." 00:00:32
00:01:44 SOUNDBITE (Polish) Tadeusz ZWIEFKA (EPP, PL) : (English translation) : "This day EU preparing an instrument to tackle both financial and economic of the crisis is something absolutely indispensable. I'm very happy that we are finalising the work on such an instrument that will help us attain that objective, it will force us to be more innovative, it will contribute to becoming more innovative." 00:00:24
00:02:08 SOUNDBITE (English) Sajjad KARIM (ECR, UK) : "In Committee when I said that we should possibly put forward a compromise by having a German speaking Court in London, a French speaking Court in Munich and an English in Paris with Spanish as a default position it seems Council thought that this was a serious proposal and solution. It wasn't." 00:00:19
00:02:27 SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Antonio LOPEZ-ISTURIZ WHITE (EPP, ES) : (English translation) : "If you look at the legal system we've got here it is not the least cost, it is discriminatory, it goes against the principle of cohesion and does promote legal uncertainty and it goes against the interest of the concerned parties, and finally doesn't promote innovation. " 00:00:15
00:02:42 SOUNDBITE (English) Christian ENGSTROM (Greens/EFA, SE) : (English translation) : "We have had for several decades the European Patent Office. That's an international organization, outside the EU, outside the control of the EU, outside the control of the Parliament. We see what this has led to : the Treaty that is the foundation of the work of the European Patent Office, the European Patent EPC, explicitly says that you can't patent software, you can't patent life, etc, etc. We know that the European Patent Office doesn't care about this : it grants those patents anyway. You see various legal formulas, that, for software for instance, they say that "oh no, we would never allow patent on software as such, we only allow patents on software that run on computers. Now this obviously rubbish argumentation, but this is how they work. This would have been an opportunity to bring the patents system in line to get it under judicial and and political control. But we missed that opportunity by simply abdicating and giving more power to this organization outside the law. " 00:00:13
00:02:55 SOUNDBITE (French) Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for internal market and services. (English translation) : "Minister Loucas gave us the figures, the European Unique Patent would divide the prices by 7 or even by 10, that is a real financial progress for the competitiveness particularly of our small businesses and laboratories." 00:01:00
00:03:55 SOUNDBITE (French) Jacky HENIN (GUE/NGL, FR) : (English translation) : "The package that is on the table under pretext of saving money and rationalize the process is participating to the race between the upholders of the cognitive capitalism who aim at privatising all through patent : life, knowledge, know-how, scientific discoveries, ideas and even words to express them, and, on the other hand, those who want a word of openness and sharing where workers remain masters of their knowledge. You deny the universal character of languages such as French and Spanish, you forget voluntarily the obligations you have towards national defence, for the sake of us and Chinese investment funds and makes US legislator have a good laugh at it. Your package doesn't bring any solution to the actual looting our patents in the context of the dismembering of our SME's. The package will only be an efficient tool of the outmost privatization and the competition between knowledge and know-how, as of the ultra-concentration of powers and of the richness that comes from it." 00:00:56
00:04:51 CUTAWAYS 2 shots 00:00:08
00:04:59 END 00:00:00
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