Unitary patent: Stalemate likely to continue
By Sophie Mosca | Tuesday 29 May 2012
Barring a last minute reversal, the Competitiveness Council is not expected to advance on the EU’s unitary patent, on 30 May. The question of the location of the central division of the new patent court system has been holding up negotiations since the 5 December 2011 Competitiveness Council.
This legislative package, in which certain states will participate under enhanced cooperation, contains three elements: a draft regulation setting up the unitary patent (in co-decision); a second draft regulation establishing translation arrangements; and a draft intergovernmental agreement setting up the patent court system. The negotiations have stumbled on the court system.
London, Munich and Paris were candidates. The candidacy of Paris was proposed by the Polish EU Presidency, which irritated the ‘losers’. Calls to reason by Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier and Commission President José Manuel Barroso, and the efforts of the Danish EU Presidency have been unsuccessful to date. Pressure by the informal European Council, on 30 January, which set June as the deadline for working out an agreement, has also failed to produce an impact.
“We were awaiting the results of the presidential election in France to assess the position of the new team, but since it is identical to that of its predecessor, we are now counting on settling the dispute at the next summit of heads of state and government in June,” a diplomat told
This was confirmed by the Danish Presidency, which drew a parallel with the bitter negotiations that led to the choice of Parma, Italy, at the EU summit of 13 December 2003, as the seat of the European Food Safety Authority.