For three decades, the European Patent Office has offered inventors and companies a way to obtain patent protection in a large number of European countries through a single, centralized procedure.
What, then, is yesterday’s adoption by the European Parliament of a package of legislation concerning the “EU patent” all about?
That means that the entire EU is now treated as if it were a single country, requiring only a single translation and validation fee, and requiring a single series of annual renewal fees to keep the patent alive.
This avoids high translation and validation costs which make the existing European system so costly.
In addition, where existing European patents are treated by courts as a bundle of national patents as far as validity and infringement issues are concerned, the EU patent will constitute a unitary title (like its cousins the Community Trademark and the Community Design).
This means that patent holders can now start a single invalidation procedure against patent infringements occuring in different EU member states.
In case of the patent infringement proceedings an appeal against the patent infringement district court decision is possible to the respective patent appeal court for the respective federal state of Germany, and against the decision thereof, again, an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court.Discussions amongst a group of member countries of EPC, with the aim of creating a centralized enforcement system for EPC based patents, are making soft progress, however.In the following, the present system of patent enforcement, both for national and EPC based patents, as it is nowadays applicable in Germany will be discussed, followed by specific questions of the present situation with regard to cross-border patent enforcement. Enforcing National Patents If a patentee or other party entitled under the patent wishes to proceed against an infringer based on a national German patent, the patentee will file a suitable suit (litigation) at one of the patent infringement courts of first instance in Germany, which consist of essentially one single designated patent chamber of one of the various district courts of each Federal State of Germany.Summary: EPO insiders (or affiliates nearby) explain just how bad patent quality has become — due to the management’s policies — and why it poses a threat to the attractiveness of the EPO (where the number of patent applications is already declining)They’re not wrong.Based on people whom I speak to regularly, the image of the EPO and the prestige — so to speak — of EPs just isn’t there anymore.The patent office “found that claims covering [Sovaldi] within the patent were valid.