Martinez, Feli. (2000) Patents and the European Internal Market: Background and Recent Developments. CEPS Working Document No. 155, November 2000. [Working Paper]
This article has two main purposes. First it provides background information on patents and explains how patents become trade-related, as they are a source of distortions in trade and competition. Secondly, it analyses the advantages and disadvantages of the different patent systems that coexist in Europe and examines the recent proposal for a European Council Regulation on the Community patent in light of the shortcoming of the existing systems. This draft Regulation provides for the coexistence of the Community, ‘European’ and national patent systems. This option of coexistence although an improvement over today, does not eliminate but only reduces distortions in the European internal market. However, it may have been the only feasible option with the present level of knowledge regarding the socially optimal rate of innovation and the responsiveness of socially useful innovation to changes in patent law provisions.
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