“Europe’s 500“, which is an association of those European companies with the biggest growth, calls on the EU Commission and the EU member states to introduce a simplified and centralized European patent application procedure. Currently inventors have to pass through 27 different patenting procedures and have to fill in blanks in many languages according to EU member state so that applying for a patent may cost up to 150.000 Euros.
For comparison: in the USA only one single application is required which will cost the applying company about 5000 US dollars. Patents thus received cover the entire US market.
Taking out a patent in Europe is a problem in particular for small and medium-sized entities and self-employed inventors which account for between 60% and 70% of all patent applications in Europe. Numerous application procedures and high costs prevent these innovative companies from extending their business activities and to build strategic partnerships with companies from other European countries.
According to the “Europe’s 500″, one of the consequences of the current system is the fact that in the EU the number of new patents is only half a high as it would be if there were no such obstacles. This is intolerable given that everybody knows that Europe has to change from an industry based economy to one which is based on knowledge, says the association.
Against this backdrop, the “Europe’s 500″ association calls on the European Commission to introduce a unified and centralized patenting procedure which make it possible to take out a patent in one go in all EU member states. For the single market this would be a giant step ahead.