Euro-MP Welcomes Vote to Boost Innovation

December 12, 2012 5:14 PM

Sir Graham Watson,South West MEP for the Liberal Democrats, has welcomed a vote in the European Parliament today to reform the patent system across Europe, making it easier for inventors and entrepreneurs to register their products across the single market.

Under the previous rules, patents typically cost 18 times more than their equivalent in the United States. This is due to a patent having to be registered in every one of the 27 EU Member States, costing on average £25,000 a time to ensure a product was protected in the single market. Now, thanks to today's vote, the cost will tumble to around £4,000 as part of a 'one size fits all' package.

Both the Greens and UKIP opposed the move, which Watson has condemned as 'shamefully blocking growth and innovation'

"I hope business parks across the South West will welcome today's vote, which will make it easier and cheaper for the Dysons of tomorrow to register and protect their products. This is part of a series of measures by the EU to cut red tape, demolish the hurdles to growth and get people back into work. The South West has always been a powerhouse for innovation. From Babbage to Brunel, the Westcountry has championed new industry and long may it continue."

"When so much of our trade -almost 50%- is with our EU partners, having a patent system which means that you can protect your ideas with one set of forms, rather than 27 makes life a lot easier. Businesses can now spend more time developing products rather than endlessly filling out paperwork.

"Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that will ensure a return to strong economic growth. What is a required are a series of measures such as these which can make life easier for businesses to grow and flourish. It is therefore a shame that the Greens and UKIP chose to shamefully block such moves towards increasing growth and innovation.