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Parliamentary question - E-011245/2012(ASW)Parliamentary question
E-011245/2012(ASW)

    Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

    1. The Unified Patent Court will be set up by an international agreement between Member States. The EU will not be a party to the Agreement and the Commission has no authority to interpret its content. Yet the main aim of the Unified Patent Court is to ensure legal certainty and avoid multiple cases before national courts in different Member States concerning the same issue (with potentially diverging decisions). This will in particular benefit SMEs. In addition, on the basis of the current draft, it is clear that, when setting the court fees, the Administrative Committee must respect the principle of fair access to justice, in particular for SMEs.

    2-3. The language of proceedings is not restricted to German, English and French. In fact, the language of proceedings before a local/regional division will be (one of) the official language(s) of the Contracting Member State hosting the relevant division, or the official language(s) designated by Contracting Member States sharing a regional division or the language in which the patent was granted.

    4. The criteria for patentability (e.g. invention, new, inventive step, industrial applicability, no exclusion from patentability) are set out in Articles 52/53 EPC. They will be interpreted in a uniform way by the new court.

    5. The Commission is aware of a recent study carried out in Poland but has not systematically reviewed impact assessments/studies in the different Member States.

    OJ C 321 E, 07/11/2013