Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission
On 8 March 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its opinion on the draft agreement on the European and EU Patent Court (EEUPC). The CJEU is of the opinion that the draft agreement is not compatible with the Treaties. Two days later, on 10 March 2011, the Council decided to move ahead with the enhanced cooperation for the creation of unitary patent protection and authorised 25 Member States to establish enhanced cooperation between themselves. This was possible because the creation of unitary patent protection and the creation of the EEUPC are legally distinct and independent initiatives. At this stage, the Commission is analysing the opinion of the CJEU and is examining available options and the Commission has not yet taken a position on this matter. It is thus too early to provide the Honourable Member with a definitive answer to his questions relating to the next steps in this file.