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EU moves closer to patent unification

A single Europe-wide patent program inches closer, after EU member states approve the main elements of a plan.

A single Europe-wide patent plan is a step nearer, after EU member states agreed the main elements, including a unified European patent court.

Intellectual property (IP) experts praised the agreement, announced on Friday by the Swedish presidency of the EU, but warned that the biggest obstacle to the scheme--who will pay for patent translation--remains unresolved.

"I am very pleased that we have finally seen a political breakthrough in these difficult negotiations that have gone on for so long," Swedish trade minister Ewa Bjorling said in a statement.

According to the EU, getting patent protection in 13 EU states costs 11 times as much as getting a patent in the U.S.

Read more of "Single European patent moves closer to fruition at ZDNet UK.