Belgium to push EU for removal of chemical patent obstacles

14 July 2010 13:42  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Belgium's stint at heading the six-month EU presidency will see a push for greater support for innovation in Europe's chemical industry by getting rid of obstacles that make applying for patents costly, the Belgian minister of economy said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a chemicals industry conference in Antwerp, Vincent Van Quickenborne said: “Applying for a patent costs six times more in Europe than in the United States, mainly because of translation costs. It is a real brake on innovation and a serious handicap to the competitiveness of European firms.”

He added that one of the main goals of the Belgian EU presidency over the next six months is to achieve a breakthrough in discussions on the European patent.

The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), and essenscia, a Belgian federation of the chemical, plastics and life sciences industries, gave their full support for the efforts of the Belgian EU presidency.

“A community patent valid throughout the EU would enable breakthroughs in innovation that could become commercial and industrial successes,” said Cefic and essencia in a joint statement.

The two federations added that a sustainable future for the European chemicals sector was also dependent on a competitive energy and climate policy, an integrated industrial policy and an ambitious trade policy.

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By: Elaine Mills
+44 208 652 3214

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