From Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies:
British inventors are set to benefit from the successful outcome of a 40 year EU battle on patent laws.
Businesses applying for patents currently need to have their application translated into 23 different languages to protect their rights in 25 EU countries.
But Euro-MPs this week gave their backing to a new patent law that will allow inventors to apply in just one language and get protection across the EU. The new unitary patents will be processed in English, French or German but can be submitted in any of the 23 official EU languages.
The new law will reduce the costs of an EU wide patent by 80% with costs of translation no longer being met by the inventors. Costs will fall to €2380 during a short transition period and then €680 after that.
Patent costs in the USA and Japan are significantly lower than in the EU making manufacturing in those countries more competitive.
Chris Davies, Lib Dem Euro-MP for North West England said, “This is exactly what the EU should be doing, making it easier and cheaper for businesses across Europe to develop new products and promote innovation.
“Manufacturing industry in the North needs to be on a level playing field with international competitors.
“If we are going to grow our way out of the current financial difficulties we need to make things and export them and this will help.”
Davies criticised UKIP MEPs who voted against the new patent law.
“UKIP has shown again that its obsessive hatred of the idea of European cooperation puts jobs at risk. Its MEPs let down small and medium sized businesses and our great Universities by voting against this measure.
“Money that is currently being wasted on translating patents can now be used for more research and most importantly to create jobs. A widget made in North West England today can be sold in Bulgaria tomorrow without the fear it will be copied.”