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15 Dec 2010


Innovation & Enterprise
Trade & Society

The European Commission is due to present a proposal tomorrow (14th December), using the facility of enhanced cooperation foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty, to unblock the stalemate that has bedevilled EU competitiveness for almost three decades.

Guy Verhofstadt, Liberal and Democrat group leader in the European Parliament condemned the delays and urged the Council to agree the measure as soon as possible:

"The world will not stand still whilst Member States delay a key element for enhanced competitiveness over a linguistic dispute. Europe's economy is flagging in comparison to the new, dynamic regions from Brazil to South Korea. We have no choice now but to support a proposal from the Commission to pursue a common EU patent on the basis of enhanced cooperation as unanimity seems impossible."

"The arguments have been well rehearsed for many years now but the debate keeps going round in circles. A single EU patent regime will enable faster and cheaper patent applications for companies with innovative ideas and facilitate dispute settlement."

"Only with a simpler, streamlined patent regime can Europe really compete in the global market place."

"I hope that those countries who disagree with the approach will soon come on board and that rapid technological progress in automatic translation can address their concerns. Indeed, we may even witness an EU-patented machine translation service emerge as a result of progress on this subject."

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