Patent costs to plummet after Vince Cable signs deal with EU

THE COST of registering patents in the EU is set to fall from €36,000 (£31,000) to €5,000, following reforms due to be agreed by business secretary Vince Cable this week.

At the moment inventors and businesses have to register their innovations separately with all EU member states.

The new agreement, which will be signed tomorrow, will introduce a new unitary patent valid in 25 countries, bringing costs down by almost 90 per cent. The government hopes this will encourage entrepreneurs to invest in new developments.

Cable said: “This agreement is just common sense. It will mean inventors spend more time on research and development, coming up with new ideas and less time filling in forms and defending their cases in court.”

There will also be a new unified patent court, enabling British businesses to fight against patent breaches in EU states without having to commence legal proceedings in foreign countries.

The first unified patents are expected to be issued in 2014.