On 15 February, the European Parliament by a large majority voted in favour of a recommendation by the European Commission to move towards an EU patent scheme, using the 'enhanced co-operation' procedure.
ESBA President Tina Sommer said: ''We are pleased with the outcome of the Parliament's vote. The current legal environment makes filing for patents an extremely costly and burdensome exercise for the EU's smallest businesses, which are often forced to hire external experts and struggle with issues of translation. The proposal sanctioned by the European Parliament is a step in the right direction. ESBA urges the Council to adopt the proposal in March and strongly advises other Member States to join the Enhanced Cooperation Agreement to make the EU patent as inclusive as possible. Last but not least, the Commission must insure an effective information campaign, once the new system is in place, to ensure that European SMEs are aware of the changes and how to use them to their advantage.