How does the current European patent system work?
The European Patent Convention established a centralised procedure for granting European patents. This procedure is used to process a single patent application in English, French or German, which are the three official languages of the European Patent Organisation (EPO), a non-EU body.
However, a patent issued by EPO must be validated in all the countries where protection is sought. The validation procedure entails high costs, especially for translation services, and makes EU-wide patent protection thirteen times more expensive than in the US.