National, European and Community Patent Protection: Time for Reconsideration
The completion of a Community system of unitary intellectual property protection has come to a halt when the Commission’s proposal for a Community Patent Regulation was shelved by the Council on political grounds in late 2004. By contrast, under the auspices of the European Patent Organization a draft European Patent Litigation Agreement has been set up with a view to have it adopted by those Contracting States of the European Patent Convention ( EPC ), which would volunteer for it. Given that conceptually both the Community patent project and the European Patent Convention date back to the mid of the last century, and that due to economic and technological change there is a good case to be made for a broad reform effort, it is proposed to benefit from the present crisis of unification of patent law by undertaking a review of the entire system with a view to establish a fundamentally modernized system of protection. This should include the recognition of the role national patents have to play in an integrated system of patent protection in Europe.
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