Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Unitary Patent Package: 12 reasons for concern

German intellectual property scholar Matthias Lamping, a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Munich, has been assiduously following the increasingly tense and acerbic debate over the future of Europe's patent grant and enforcement infrastructure.  He has reminded this blogger that the attention of PatLit readers may not have been directed to the Institute's recent objective and reasoned critique of the currently-proposed package of legal reforms.  As Matthias explains:
The Unitary Patent Package: 12 Reasons for Concern

The Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, which has functioned as a politically and economically unbiased centre of legal competence for European intellectual property legislation ever since its foundation in 1966, is a well-recognized scientific commentator and adviser on the evolution of European patent law.

The Institute considers a balanced, innovation-friendly and uniform patent system as being indispensable for Europe. However, the current patent package is deemed to be both dangerous and misguided. While a superficial glance may create the false impression of a patent law advancement through the proposal, it instead actually threatens to forestall the necessary legal progress and innovation capacities for the foreseeable future.

These concerns of the Max Planck Institute are shared by experts throughout Europe. Likewise, within a considerable sector of industry, doubts are harboured as to the proposed system's efficiency. Large undertakings might indeed benefit from a reinforcement of their patent portfolios through the proposed system. However, small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly likely to experience significant obstacles to their innovation activities.

Criticism of the package is underpinned by a series of legal arguments which can be found here. Many of these points remain quite unchallenged in the current debate. Yet remedies are only promised for the time after the entry into force of the package. Experience shows that, particularly in relation to legislation for intellectual property, promises of subsequent improvement are unlikely to be fulfilled. Consequently, it might prove disastrous to implement a patent system which is already known to be detrimental from both the legal as well as the innovation perspectives. Much rather, the correct course must be set now. Against this background, the Institute believes it is indispensable to reconsider the content of the Unitary Patent Package afresh.
This blogger feels that, given its impressive track record over the past decades for highly-focused and responsible, reasoned analysis of intellectual property issues, the Max Planck Institute has earned the right to be listened to and for its comments to be taken seriously. Arguably, the Institute has provided a greater contribution to the development of a harmonised, functional integrated intellectual property system in Europe than any other institution -- including the European Commission.

1 comment:

Gibus said...

I've re-published the analysis of the Max-Plank Institute with an enhanced comment system:

This may interest this blog's readers to add their comments...