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Italy and Spain opt out of new European patent scheme

Written by Ben Evans on 16 February 2011

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Only two EU countries have decided not to participate in the new European patent plan.

As previously reported the European Commission has been mulling over significant changes to how the European patent system works. Now the European Commission has said that the new process will be adopted by all members of the EU apart from Italy and Spain.

At present an applicant must translate their patent into the official language of every country in which they seek patent protection, needless to say this results in an extremely high cost for gaining EU wide protection.

In an attempt to solve this problem 12 EU countries (including the UK) proposed a new system whereby a patent examined and granted in English, French or German will have effect in any of the countries in the scheme. If the applicant's own country is not part of the scheme then the scheme will cover the cost of translating the patent into one of the aforementioned languages. Now a total of 25 member states have joinedd the scheme, leaving just Italy and Spain outside of the scheme.

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