[The European Parliament building in Strasbourg] Despite the - earlier reported and not totally unfounded - efforts of anti-patent groups (see here and here) to urge the European Parliament to not give its consent to a legislative proposal to implement a 'small' EU patent (now called "Unitary Patent") by enhanced cooperation until the ECJ issues its opinion on the compatibility of the EU Commission's draft agreement on the EEUPC on 8 March, the European Parliament did exactly this - it today gave its go-ahead by 471 votes to 160, with 42 abstentions (see here for further reports), as recommended by the Parliament's legal affairs committee (JURI) in January. As the next steps
The Council of Competitiveness Ministers is expected to formally adopt the decision authorising enhanced cooperation on 9 - 10 March [i.e. the day after the issuance of the ECJ's opinion!]. The Commission will then submit two legislative proposals: one establishing the single patent (under the co-decision procedure) and the other on the language regime (consultation procedure).
However, as summarised by EurActiv, there remain severe doubts over the legal compatibility of both the linguistic and jurisdictional regime (as proposed for the Unitary Patent and/or the EEUPC).
[C]oncerns have been raised regarding the status of the new court [i.e. the EEUPC as proposed by the Draft Agreement]. In an opinion issued in July, the Advocates General of the European Court of Justice stated that the new tribunal could be out of step with EU legislation and jurisprudence, declaring the proposal "incompatible with the treaties" [see earlier posting]. The opinion also condemned the draft proposal due to its [...] trilingual system [that] "may affect the rights of defence" of companies based in countries that use a different language [...] ...Zum vollständigen Artikel