The creation of a patent system that will significantly ease an inventor's path to gaining protection for his or her intellectual property across Europe will soon be reality, according to an article by Mintz Levin attorneys David Wraige and Anne Campbell. The article, entitled "Will Europe Soon Have a Unified Patent?" was published in the December 2013 edition of Cleantech Business News. The critical issue now facing innovators in the cleantech and other spheres is the ability to gain protection for their ideas in a timely, efficient manner. In the current system, patents issued by the European Patent Office do not function as single patents. Though they take effect in all 38 European nations, it is only after an inventor goes through a separate process for each country. This process can be extremely time and money intensive, requiring translation of entire patent applications and thousands of dollars in translation and legal fees.
Wraige and Campbell explain that a new system, the Unified Patent System (UPS), seeks to fix this broken system. "What this means is that rather than a European patent falling apart into many separate patents following grant, it will remain one single patent which provides protection in all countries. The new system will largely dispense with the costly translation requirement and, furthermore, since there will only be one patent, only one renewal fee each year will be required to keep the patent in force," they write.
The system is set to go into effect in April of 2015. Click here to read the full article, offering further detail as to how the UPS will save companies and innovators in the European cleantech and energy industries huge amounts of money in the coming years.