EU: European Patent Office unties tongues

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sat May 3 13:36:46 UTC 2008

Patent Office unties tongues*

The European Patent Office has loosened its 23 tongues. As of Thursday,
applicants for patents no longer need file separate versions of their
applications in the 23 official and working languages used within the
European Union. Docs in one language shall henceforth be enough, provided
the chosen language is officially used within the EU. Royal Philips
Electronics, the EU's most frequent filer, estimates the new rule will save
it up to 3-million euros a year for every 1,000 applications it files.
Translation services can cost about 3,800 euros per patent filing, and that
can account for up to 40% of the entire cost of the patent application,
according to a report by Bloomberg.

As much as the new rule helps reduce costs and red tape a big firm like
Philips, the move is actually designed to help small-time inventors who have
been unable to file applications because of the enormous translation costs.

Source: **

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