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February 2013

Europe-wide patents could spread smartphone wars

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a new patent law to provide a single regulation and one court to cover inventions across the continent. Currently, companies or citizens can either apply for a national patent for a single country, or a classical European patent which protects them in the bundles of countries they want the cover in. However, the new unitary patent will enable any submitted invention to be covered and protected in the same way across any participating locale, rather than having to go through separate processes. The vote was a long time coming, following several years of debate between member states and a lack of consensus in forming a single patent system to function across all EU countries. Even with this new agreement, Italy and Spain have not signed up, claiming issues with how the translation of the regulation was conducted between languages did not meet their approval. However, now 25 states have agreed to the regulation, it is on the road to becoming law. In December 2012, the proposal was ...

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