Summary title: Petition No 2370/2014 by A. R. (German), on an interinstitutional agreement with the European Patent Office (EPO) and harmonisation of substantive patent law
Petition number: 2370/2014
Country: European Union
Name: E. P.
According to the petitioner, the European Patent Office is an international European institution which does not fall under EU law. He proposes that the EU contacts the EPO in order to conclude an interinstitutional agreement which would enable Members of the European Parliament to address parliamentary questions to the EPO and improve the parliamentary supervision of the EPO. The petitioner also asks the European Commission to harmonise national substantive patent law so that patent law becomes part of the acquis communautaire and the major differences which currently exist between the national patent law systems are removed. The EPO cannot deal with these differences, but has become the de facto harmoniser of patent law owing to its position as the provider of patents. According to the petitioner, the current situation is lacking a legislator and the development of patent law is concentrated in the hands of the executive and the judiciary. This is contrary to the separation of powers. The lack of balance between the powers means that it is difficult to respond to the fact that patent law affects areas other than that of EU policy, such as industrial policy, European standardisation and research policy. Moreover, the petitioner believes that the lack of harmonisation of substantive patent law weakens the negotiating position of the EU in matters relating to patent law with respect to third parties (WIPO, SPLT, TRIPS+, etc.).