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Verhofstadt: Continued bickering over seat of EU Patent Court is a scandal


01 Jun 2012


Trade & Society

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe strongly deplores the blockage in the Competitiveness Council concerning the future headquarters of the European Patent Court. The location of this body, which France, Germany and the United Kingdom are fighting for, is the last obstacle to the adoption of common patent rules, awaited for over 30 years.

For Guy Verhofstadt, President of ALDE, the inability of Paris, Berlin and London to come to an agreement is "a scandal". "The European patent is a longstanding issue on the European agenda. Now that agreement is within reach, France, Germany and UK find nothing better to do than battle over the seat!" he denounces. "The single patent could cost up to 80% less for businesses which would open up new opportunities for SMEs' to access the internal market. The dispute is all the more incredible given the current context of looming recession."

"We should not hold up the benefits of a single European patent over Member State in-fighting on the location of the court. This matter must be decided once and for all by EU leaders at the June European Council. Failing that I recommend a provisional seat in Brussels, pending a definitive agreement, as happened in 2001 when the Food Agency was disputed by Italy and Finland. "

The Competitiveness Council already discussed the matter in December 2011 under the Polish Presidency but an overall compromise could not be achieved due to the split on the location of the seat of the Court. The Informal European Council of 30 January and the European Council of 1-2 March agreed to find a solution on the last remaining issue by June 2012.

For more information, please contact / Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter:

Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84

Laude Yannick - Tel:+32 2 284 31 69 Mob:+32 495 22 78 37



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