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European Unitary Patent and Patent Box Dominate the London Patent Summit

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- With a key meeting on the 40-year old saga of the European Single Unitary Patent scheduled for 22 December, it was always likely that discussion of the Single Patent would dominate the London Patent Summit, held on 8-9 October 2012 at the London Stock Exchange. Both the global investment community and corporates interested in selling innovative products into the European market have a keen interest in seeing if this time round the Single European Patent will actually be allowed to become a reality. If it comes about, the new regime will make it cheaper and faster to enforce a patent EU-wide.

In her paper on the implications of the Unitary Patent, Lucy Johnson, a Director of global intellectual property firm Murgitroyd, told delegates to the London Patent Summit that while a number of very significant hurdles had finally been overcome, including the thorny issues of which European languages would be used, where and how patents would be filed and where disputes would be resolved, there was still no absolute certainty of success. "As the old adage has it, there is many a slip twixt cup and lip and there have been several occasions in the past when it looked as if we were about to get a single European patent regime, only to see the process put back into the melting pot," she says. The benefits to clients of the introduction of a unified European patent regime would be huge, with potential savings of £2.1 billion for the UK economy alone.

Another topic of huge interest at the Summit was the new Patent Box tax regime due to come into force on 1 April 2013. This gives companies based in the UK the chance to reduce their UK corporation tax rate on qualifying profits to just 10%, versus the current 26% rate, and is expected to attract a significant number of innovative companies to relocate to the UK. Delegates were told that the Patent Box regime is also expected to act as a real incentive to UK companies to retain their commercialisation programmes for innovative new products and services within the UK.

Murgitroyd Director Gareth Scaddan reports that the London Patent Summit generated considerable interest among clients of the firm's London City office. The office opened earlier in 2012 and the office's three full-time attorneys, including Gareth, already have a great deal of work from companies across the spectrum of industry sectors. "There is no doubt that clients see the Patent Box regime as introducing a very business friendly policy. The UK is somewhat playing catch-up here as a number of other countries already have similar regimes, but it will be a tremendous incentive to companies to use London as a launchpad for their European sales activities. Our London office puts us in an excellent position to help them, while our strong representation in Germany and elsewhere in Europe and the US gives our clients the global footprint they require," he concludes.

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Lucy Johnson
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Source: Murgitroyd