European patent costs take a dive – France to sign London Agreement
In July this year, it was reported that France is about to sign the London agreement. In essence, after ratification by France, the agreement will come into force, and in ten countries so far, the infamously expensive translation fees will be partially or completely waived. More countries are expected to ratify over time.
While the cost savings are welcome, there was some heated debate (and a little hot air) amongst commenters over at ipkat about the usefulness of the London Agreement.
Reacting to two of the more realistic cited difficulties:
- greater difficulties in searching patents which may be in a variety of languages (or only have translated claims).
>>There will almost always be at least one English equivalent in the family which will come up on the search.
- rather than a single translation for each language, paid for by the patent applicant, important patents will be translated many times over – by each interested party.
>>Seems a lot more efficient overall than having every single application translated into the language of each country in which the applicant wants protection.