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Among the many case files on the table at the EU summit is the single European patent.

EU Commissioner Michel Barnier wants this project completed. It has been languishing on the back burner for several years, but the hope is one patent across most of the EU would stimulate innovation.

During a recent visit to the Institut Pasteur in Paris, Barnier called on member states to finish the job.

“With a single patent we could reduce the cost of protecting innovation by 10 to 20 times. Better protection means more jobs. It’s high time heads of state and government removed the final hurdle by deciding where the court will be located to rule on each and every case, because if you have a single patent, you need a single jurisdiction,” Barnier said.

The smart money for the court’s location looks to be Paris with EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy coming out on Tuesday in support of the French capital.

The implementation of a single European patent will be real progress according to Simon Wain-Hobson, a researcher at the Institut Pasteur.

“For a company, you can then say, ‘well that money can be invested in a job, and the job will create a patent’, and the whole thing accelerates, so it’s a sort of a virtuous circle,” Wain-Hobson said.

At the moment it costs around 30,000 euros to enforce a patent across the EU’s 27 member countries, while in the US, it costs less than 2,000.

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