|Will Poland block the EU's single patent scheme? |
Within a week of declaring support for a unitary patent for the European Union in mid-December, the Polish government has backtracked and changed its stance.
Having a single patent – or unitary patent – for the EU should make it easier for companies, SMEs in particular, to patent their inventions. Rather than forcing firms to go through the patent process in each country, a patent granted in one EU member state would apply in all others.
But top officials now say Poland won’t support the initiative. “There is a basic difference between what is good for a highly innovative economy and an economy such as ours,” Economy Minister Janusz Piechociƒski told the press.
“It is too early for us to introduce a unitary patent,” Digitization Minister Michał Boni added.
The official reason behind the change of heart is the government’s opposition to a proposal to form an international patent court. The court would operate under the EU’s Justice Tribunal and would have the final word on EU patent law.
But many Polish entrepreneurs have been protesting against the proposals for months, arguing that the unitary patent would cost them billions. According to a study by Deloitte for the Polish government, implementing the unitary patent would cost Polish companies zł.76 billion over the next 30 years, while sticking to the current rules will cost only zł.48 billion.
The higher costs would stem from the wave of new patents that would be registered in Poland and the resulting legal costs that would follow, as companies try to make sure that they aren’t infringing on others’ intellectual property.
From Warsaw Business Journal
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