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back to article After 50 years, Europe gets one patent to rule them all

Patent trolls have a new bridge to hide under, after the European Union (EU) today announced that it will now offer applicants the chance to win a single patent spanning 25 member nations. The EU has been haggling over this issue for more than 50 years - a unified patent system was one of the EU's founding aspirations, while a …

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Oh, no

Oh, no. Not "the Son of the USPTO".

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Oh, yes

" trolls seem to now have a one-stop shop, and a well-priced one at that, in which to pursue their claims."

That's not how I read it. Currently a troll can simply file a case in multiple jursidictions. They only need to win one to more than cover the expenses incurred from all their filings. From the patent trolls' point of view, the more jurisdictions, the better, since if they're denied in one jurisdiction they'll just open a new case somewhere else.

If a unified EU patent can only be contested once, and the resulting ruling is binding all through the EU, it will reduce the amount of litigation. Of course trolls still have somewhere to operate and trivial patents can still be possibly granted, but let's burn the trolls under that bridge when we come to it.

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Re: Oh, no

At least Europe doesn't have software patents.

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Anonymous Coward

Has anyone patented

the patently ridiculous? No, I guess not. Too much prior art.

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Depends who is in charge

At the moment you only have to patent in Germany. The Europena patent office is there and if a competitor is locked out of the German market it doesn't matter if they are allowed to copy you in some 3rd world island off the coast.

At the moment it is hugely expensive to patent anything in Britain. QCs cost you and arm and a leg (in Guineas) and you only have to say England / England and Wales / England and Scotland wrong somewhere on a form to end up paying for the QC's daughter's new pony

Also, recent Samsung events aside, the courts in Germany normally take the ludicrous view that the technical points of a patent should be decided by a judge with a background in science/engineering - rather than latin.

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FAIL

When spinning is hard, bluster!

> “maintaining a European patent for ten years in only six European countries can be four times more expensive than it would be in the US, Japan and many other advanced economies.”

So, what they actually said was, "its currently 33% cheaper to maintain a patent in a European country than in the US or Japan or other advanced economy."

We can't have that!

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Anonymous Coward

... and in the Darkness...

bind them.

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But for one reason or another...

The Spanish and the Italians refuse to play ball. Now what's that all about ?

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Re: But for one reason or another...

They're probably in a huff because neither Spanish nor Italian made it onto the list of accepted languages.

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Boffin

Re: But for one reason or another...

It was originally going to be English only, then France and Germany got their languages included, then it was a case of 'well if they can we can too' only they can't because they're not France and Germany.

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Re: But for one reason or another...

The French are extremely anal about their language, among a bunch of other things, and will fight tooth and nail for meaningless privileges that show off the prestige of France (eg the horrendous waste of money that is having a second EU parliament in Strasbourg). They are especially pissed-off that English has become the world's lingua franca, and will refuse any thing being done only in English on a matter of pure reflex.

To be fair English, German ad French are the 3 languages spoken by most Europeans, so there is some sense to having 3 languages, as opposed to, I believe 23 languages to be translated / interpreted to for all official EU documents, parliamentary sessions etc. But doing things according to national pride not according to usefulness is friggin' stupid. Most Germans can speak good (if funnily accented) English. The only other real international European language is Spanish, spoken in most of S. America, all of Central America, and is a major language in the US. So English + Spanish is what the EU should be standardising on.

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Re: But for one reason or another...

Nope, it is German + Spanish + Chinese what the EU should be standardising on. You know Chinese also spoken in Asia

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Re: But for one reason or another...

They are especially pissed-off that English has become the world's lingua franca, and will refuse any thing being done only in English on a matter of pure reflex.

Then we must fight back. Get the OED to eliminate the term "lingua franca", and replace it with "lingua angla" or something equally silly. And while we're at it, we could paint "AAA" on the white cliffs of Dover in letters two hundred feet high.*

* Better use water colour in preparation for being stripped of our rating next year, mind you.

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TRT
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Re: But for one reason or another...

And while we're at it, we could paint "AAA" on the white cliffs of Dover in letters two hundred feet high.*

A literal interpretation of our crumbling economy?

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g e
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Meh

But can you then choose the jurisdiction for a trial?

e.g. pick the UK due to its current outbreak of common sense among the judiciary and then get the patent invalidated.

Though I spose the troll picks the jurisdiction by virtue of where they file it so Netherlands/Germany, probably.

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Re: But can you then choose the jurisdiction for a trial?

But if you lose then you keep appealing until you get to an EU court.

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About time

Sorry to go against the grain, but I as planning to file a patent as UK-only because of the translation fees for every European country. If my idea was successful I was just prepared to take the hit on outside-UK copycats, this would actually help far more than patent trolls (who could afford the old fees and knew the beaurocracy regardless) and let smaller actual inventors a realistic chance of securing an EU patent with less hassle and less costs

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Re: About time

UK only is indeed very cheap, and great value. You can wait for up to a year from your first filing before you make a decision about where else to file, and if you go for a European patent, there are several countries that only require translation of the claims into the other two official EPO languages (DE, FR). Take a look here for info: http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/london-agreement/key-points.html. There are of course relatively high application costs for a European patent.

Your patent attorney will be able to advise you further.

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Pint

Re: About time

Cheers for the info, I'll take a look after work

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Re: About time

Yes - I should have said that it's enormously expensive to fight a patent case in the UK.

The point of a patent isn't "is it granted" but - "can I afford to defend it against Apple/Samsung/IBM/etc" in court.

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Oh good...

that should make it cheaper to f*** the consumers over.

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Here come the flood of trivial software patents

Oh dear, the European Patent office got it's green light to force countries to accept software patents in contravention of article 52 of the European convention on patents.

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Mushroom

step #1, one target.

Whether part of a deep conspiracy or simply by the law of unintended consequences, this single system is a big fat target for unification with the USPTO "own stuff that already exists" process. There will come a time soon where almost everything sold will attract an "IP" tax going back to America. They have invented the most powerful and profitable machine ever made: The Lawyer.

Oh, and whilst on the Tolkein theme, a post of mine from July:

The Enemy still lacks one thing to give him strength and knowledge to beat down all resistance, break the last defences, and cover all the lands in a second darkness. He lacks the One Ring... So he is seeking it, seeking it, and all his thought is bent on it

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Re: step #1, one target.

Except that would require the French to roll over and let the Americans be in charge.

The main purpose of France is to stop the UK doing whatever the Americans want.

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Joke

I thought Apple owned the Patent on Patenting....

No?

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