At the EU Competitiveness Council meeting on May 29 and 30,
ministers will discuss a substantive progress report on
technical issues prepared by the Commission.
Previous attempts to launch a Community patent, which would
provide one unitary right covering all EU member states,
have failed due to concerns
about language, cost and court proceedings.
The main stumbling block has been the conflict between
making patents available in all EU languages (23 at present)
and keeping the costs to applicants down.
The latest plans propose to resolve that problem by using
machine translations, which are already available for German,
Spanish and French at the European Patent Office.
The plans have been discussed at meetings of the EU
Council's working party on intellectual property (patents)
under the Slovenian Presidency, which runs during the first six
months of this year. The most recent meetings were held on
April 2 and April 8.