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News - 03 July 2012

For more than four decades, Europe has debated establishing a single EU Patent System. On Friday 29 June 2012, an agreement was reached by leaders of the European Union to establish a new patent court with headquarters located across Paris, Munich and London. Within the package, there is also a new form of European patent.

The announcement is a landmark for technology businesses. It will now be possible to resolve disputes across Europe through a single court system. Furthermore, a new European patent will make it easier and significantly cheaper to get patent protection with unitary effect in most countries of the EU.

The new patent court will comprise a Court of First Instance composed of a Central Division, as well as local and regional divisions, situated in the Member States. The Central Division will have its main seat in Paris with subdivisions located in London for cases in the fields of life sciences, chemistry and human necessities, and in Munich for advanced engineering and resources efficiency.

According to law firm, McDermott Will & Emery, ‘The single court certainly offers great promise for European technology businesses, but the final verdict on its success or failure in meeting such promise will have to wait until the system has been running for a few years.’