On 19th February 2013, 22 member states of the European Union sealed the deal to create the court structure for the new Community Patent.

Once the new Community Patent system begins, it will be possible for applicants to file a single application resulting in a patent extending to all countries of the European Union except Italy and Spain. Paris has been agreed as the location for the central division of the court. Branches will be set up in London and Munich.

This development is long awaited. Efforts to agree a Community Patent System started in the 1960s but met with considerable political difficulties and stalled many times before finally reaching a conclusion in December 2012.

Finally, we can look forward to a cheaper, more efficient patent grant system for the European Union which will be beneficial to all users. But it may still take some time before the first application can be filed, as 13 member states must ratify the agreement in their countries before it can enter into force.

For further information, please contact Yvonne McKeown by email at mail@maclachlan.ie