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Italy, Spain seek to annul single EU patent

'Unacceptable discrimination' on language issue, they say

30 May, 14:43
Italy, Spain seek to annul single EU patent (ANSA) - Bussels, May 30 - Italy and Spain on Monday said they would appeal to the European Court of Justice against the single European Union patent approved by the other 25 EU members.

Rome and Madrid say the patent introduces "unacceptable discrimination" because it is only written in French, English and German. The announcement came at an EU competitiveness council in Brussels, where Italy's representative, Vincenzo Grassi, called the patent "one of the most divisive pages in European Union history". Spain's secretary of state for EU affairs, Diego Lopez Garrido, said the patent was "a discriminatory measure that goes against the principles of the European Union".

The plan to introduce a single process for EU patents went forward on March when EU competitiveness ministers endorsed the rarely used mechanism of 'reinforced cooperation' among the 25 EU members who approve the plan.

Single Market Commissioner Michel Barnier said Italy and Spain could come back into the process "at any time".

Hailing the single patent as a step forward against copyright crime, he denied charges of discrimination, saying Italian and Spanish firms could use it.

Italy says issues concerning languages require unanimity.

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