EU patent makes progress
EU ministers have agreed on the general approach to be taken in two draft regulations on a new system to grant patents that cover most of the EU. The aim is to improve on the current expensive procedure of gaining patents in different EU member states. The move follows the decision of all states except Spain and Italy to sign on to an "enhanced cooperation procedure" on patents. This is seen as the last option after years of discussions failed to reach unanimous agreement on an EU-wide patent, particularly regarding the number of languages in which a unitary patent would be valid.