The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Thursday 2 June 2011

Unitary Patent

The name adopted by the European Commission for the proposed single patent for most of the European Union which it announced on 14 April 2011. Spain and Italy rejected earlier proposals for a European Union patent because the system would use only three official languages - English, French and German, which are the official languages of the European Patent Office. The EU proposals would in effect be an extension of the existing European Patent system - which itself was built on the ruins of the abortive Community Patent Convention. The proposals will, as matters stand at the time of writing, proceed under the "enhanced co-operation" procedure, which notwithstanding its name is a mechanism whereby the EU can legislate despite the opposition of some Member States. "Depleted co-operation" might have been a better  name for it. Spain and Italy will, unless they change their minds, not be part of the Unitary Patent system - which is why it cannot truly be called an EU patent.

When the Commission announced its intention of invoking the enhanced co-operation procedure, the IPKat blog canvassed readers' opinions on what a patent for an incomplete European Union should be called. The popular choice was "Community Restricted Area Patent", an example of a backronym.

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