The Unified Patent Court Agreement is being signed by 24 Member States in Brussels today. It is one of the crucial final steps in providing innovative European businesses with a one-stop shop for registering and protecting patents within the EU and could save European business between €150-290m annually.
At a special signing ceremony in Brussels today, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, on behalf of Ireland, along with Ministers from 23 other Member States, gave European innovators a significant boost by signing the Unified Patent Court Agreement.
The agreement is part of a package of measures that will provide a one-stop shop for innovative enterprises to register and protect their patents in the European Union. According to European Commission estimates it could save businesses using the patent system in Europe between €150-290m annually.
Minister Richard Bruton said: “The signing of the Unified Patent Court is a historic moment as it paves the way for the implementation of the patents package, which will give enterprises greater access to patent protection at European level, and make enforcement of patents more affordable.”
Minister Bruton: It is an important milestone in the continued development of the Single Market – a priority for the Irish Presidency. Indeed, achieving a unified patent litigation system was a major priority of the Single Market Act.
He added, “When the full patents package is implemented, it will mean that European enterprises will, on the basis of a single application, be able to obtain a patent that has effect in the majority of Member States of the EU and have access to a common litigation system to process any actions for infringement or invalidation of that patent.”
Minister Bruton also today chaired the Competitiveness Council meeting of EU Industry and Internal Market Ministers. In a first for the Council, Ministers discussed a report on the integration of the Single Market. This marks a notable increase in the Competitiveness Council’s role in monitoring and advising in this important area. Ministers also reviewed progress on implementing Single Market legislation and in driving new growth-enhancing measures.
During the Council, Ministers also debated a number of important issues including the European Commission’s “Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan”, the State Aid Modernisation proposals and the Annual Growth Survey for 2013. Other issues of importance that were discussed included the Union Customs Code and the challenges facing the European steel industry.
Minister Richard Bruton said: “The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth. The areas that the Competitiveness Council discussed today, including the Single Market and entrepreneurship, will have a major impact on this agenda. In the context of these discussions, I strongly welcome the findings of the European Commission’s new Internal Market Scoreboard report. It shows that the number of Member States transposing 99% of new Internal Market Directives increased from 16 to 23, clearly showing that Member States are giving a high regard to the timely transposition of these important instruments.”
“We also debated the Annual Growth Survey for 2013 and the issues around ensuring that Member States align their budgetary and economic policies with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 strategy. It is important that there is this common understanding about the priorities for action at the national and EU level to assist sustainable growth and job creation".
On Tuesday 5th March, the signature of Bulgaria’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Ambassador Dimiter Tzantchev meant Bulgaria became the 25th Member State to sign to the Unified Patent Court. The Unified Patent Court Agreement was signed by 24 member states in a special ceremony overseen by Minister Richard Bruton on 19 February 2013.
For further information about the UPC Agreement read our guide.