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European Commission proposal to pave way for unitary patent backed by Ministers

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Justice Ministers have reached agreement in record time on a European Commission proposal to update EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgements and thereby to pave the way for a specialised European patent court to become operational.

The Unified Patent Court will have specialised jurisdiction in patent disputes, avoiding multiple litigation cases in up to 28 different national courts. This will cut costs and lead to swift decisions on the validity or infringement of patents, boosting innovation in Europe. It is part of a package of measures recently agreed to ensure unitary patent protection in the Single Market.

“By making changes to the rules on recognition of judgements, we are paving the way for the new Unified Patent Court to begin its work. I am pleased to see that Ministers have therefore given their agreement to this important Commission proposal in record time,” said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. “Today’s progress will allow the Parliament and Council to adopt the new rules without delay. This is good news for Europe’s single market. Removing bureaucratic obstacles, extra costs and the legal uncertainty of having 28 different and often contradictory systems makes the single market more attractive. This is a very good example of how justice policies can stimulate growth.”

Commissioner Michel Barnier, Internal Market Commissioner added: "Another decisive step has been made towards the Unitary Patent package becoming a reality, and the Unified Patent Court ensuring much greater consistency in the way patent litigation is conducted in the EU. This shows that the single market is progressing and serving innovation and ultimately for growth and jobs."


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