Spain and Italy accuse EC of language discrimination

The European Commission is scaling back ambitions to create a single EU patent as Spain and Italy launch a legal appeal.

The concept of a single EU patent is being developed by the EC with Member States. An EU patent should be able to give patent protection across Europe, rather than in each country separately. This would make substantial savings for companies and encourage innovation in Europe.

However, Italy and Spain are opposed to the latest proposals, claiming that the proposed language regime for the new EU patent unfairly focuses on English, French and German. By claiming linguistic discrimination, Italy and Spain have effectively pulled out of the EU patent plans. And they are not happy about the remaining 25 member states moving on without them – the Enhanced Cooperation procedure allows the rest of the member states to adopt new common rules, even withoug unanimous EU-wide agreement.

Italy believe that this is setting a negative precedent in the European integration process. Spain say that excluding their language is discriminating against their country so violating the fundamental values of the European Union.

Despite the legal appeal by Spain and Italy, the EC will continue to develop the single patent. However, without unanimous agreement across EU Member States, the proposals have been scaled back to be less innovative and less ambitious. The EU hope that Spain and Italy will eventually rejoin the single EU patent movement.

Leila Sattary

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2 thoughts on “Spain and Italy accuse EC of language discrimination”

  1. Really embarrassing only two countries feel discriminated when 25 are keen to go ahead looking into substance rather than ridiculous procedural elements. I do hope Italy and Spain will find inspiration to help moving a key process necessary to boost economy and fundamental to help Europe to compete internationally and offer a way out from innovation stagnation.

  2. Acctualy I think that patents should be published only in English and eventualy also in the language of patent origin .This specialy for lazy French people should be a motivation to improve their English.