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Issue 157 | February 9, 2004
European Community Patent Delayed Yet Again
 On November 27, 2003, the European Competitiveness Council of Ministers again delayed implementation of the Community Patent by failing to agree on a time period for filing translations of patent claims. According the the Council's press release, "the question of the period for the filing of translations of the patent claims could not be solved, as one delegation was unable to agree to the compromise proposed by the Presidency."

Like many in the industry, European Patent Office President Ingo Kober has expressed frustration over the Council's decision in March 2003 to require translation of patent claims into all nineteen of the EU's languages. "I'm not blaming the European Commission. They are in a very difficult situation. They have set themselves a very difficult task to achieve, but have to sigh under the burden of unanimity," he said.

The grace period on translation was proposed to help postpone the estimated 50% increase in costs that applicants will now face as a final step in securing EU-wide protection. Germany, France, and the UK had been in favor of a two year deadline, while others had wanted to see this period limited to just three months. "If you allow only three months, the patent applicant is obliged to have the translations done, as there is no time to consider whether to uphold the patent," said Mr. Kober.

More information about the European Community Patent is available in Issue 64 of this newsletter at http://www.aplf.org/mailer/issue64.html, and from the European Union On-Line at http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/indprop/patent/. The author of this update is Bill Heinze (bill.heinze@tkhr.com), at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

The information contained in this email is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice. Neither the APLF nor the author intends to create an attorney client relationship by providing this information to you through this message.

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