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European patent court will be based in Paris

EU leaders have agreed to locate the unitary patent court’s central division in Paris, France.

At a meeting held in Brussels on 28 and 29 June, the European Council, a bi-annual meeting of European heads of state, agreed on a compromise solution that seeks to satisfy the three countries that were bidding to host the court. The main seat will be based in Paris, with additional “thematic clusters” in London and Munich.

“Given the highly specialised nature of patent litigation and the need to maintain high quality standards, thematic clusters will be created in two sections of the Central Division, one in London (chemistry and pharmaceuticals, human necessities), the other in Munich (mechanical engineering),” the Council said in its conclusions.

The fight between France, Germany and the UK to host the court was the only outstanding issue to seal the European patent agreement, after decades of failed attempts.

Michel Barnier, EU commissioner responsible for internal market issues, said in a statement on 29 June: “The agreement reached today opens the way to a European Parliament vote, which could give its green light to this legislative proposal next Wednesday [4 July].”

The unitary patent will be valid in 25 European countries—all EU member states except Italy and Spain. The two countries pulled out of the unitary patent over disagreements regarding the languages such patents have to be translated into.