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After 50 years, Europe gets one patent to rule them all

The Register - Patent trolls have a new bridge to hide under, after the European Union (EU) today announced that it will now offer applicants the chance to win a single patent spanning 25 member nations.

The EU has been haggling over this issue for more than 50 years - a unified patent system was one of the EU's founding aspirations, while a 1973 agreement languished - and is proclaiming the new decision as “good news for EU economy and especially for European small and medium enterprises.”

The reasoning behind that assertion is that explained in the FAQ about the new regime, which states “maintaining a European patent for ten years in only six European countries can be four times more expensive than it would be in the US, Japan and many other advanced economies.” Those high costs come from the fact that would-be registrants need to file for a patent all over Europe, incurring legal and application fees, plus translation costs, in each jurisdiction.