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Court in a storm

Image: Alexander Ramsey

After multiple setbacks, Europe’s unitary patent could get a surprising kickstart from Covid-19

To protect an invention across Europe, patent holders must pay fees for every member state in which they want coverage. If someone disputes their ownership, they may have to fight cases in multiple courts far from their home, with the costs potentially enormous.

A unitary patent system, in which one patent grants protection across 25 European countries and all disputes are handled by a single Unified Patent Court, seems like a simple solution. Achieving it, though, has been anything but.

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