With the relentless momentum of a rundown mobility scooter, the EU’s various legislative organs appear to be making progress in agreeing the final terms for a Regulation on the unitary patent and unified patent court. Compromises have been brokered and the word in Brussels is that the offending Articles 6-8 may be removed or replaced with something non-substantive. It appears that if the European Parliament adopts the Regulation in Mid-November then the Council may approve it in December or early January 2013. This could allow for the Regulation to come into force in the enhanced cooperation states of the EU (i.e. the EU less Italy and Spain) in late Spring of 2014.
No doubt the EU and EPO presidencies will hail this Regulation as a great leap forward for European competitiveness. It is certainly a leap of sorts but perhaps not in the right direction if Germany’s venerable Max-Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law are to be believed. They have published twelve (just twelve?) reasons why the Regulation eines Hundes Frühstück ist. Many in industry and the patent profession throughout Europe would agree. However, as the Eurozone financial crisis has shown modern Europeans are nothing if not resourceful and self-deluded. So let us all race forward to joyful patent unity and hang the consequences.