EuropaBio Welcomes SME-Focused Enhanced Patent System
Brussels, 15 October 2010 - EuropaBio welcomes commitments made at this week’s Competitiveness Council of Ministers in Luxembourg on an enhanced patent system to boost innovative European industry with a special focus on the needs of SMEs but stresses the importance of swift, supportive action from the member states.
Commenting on the discussions, Tom Saylor, Chair of EuropaBio’s SME Platform said: “This debate provides the opportunity to build a much wider base for consensus which is exactly what our diverse and highly differentiated community of European Biotech SMEs needs. For these groups the ability to file a patent in many European countries hinges on their capacity to cover the translation costs rather than the application fee itself. As policies are refined, it will also be important to ensure that we don’t lose the benefit of lower filing costs through tighter restrictions when SMEs come to license on to larger companies, which can also present a major roadblock to success.”
These are just some of the topics that EuropaBio will address at a forthcoming roundtable discussion with the European Patent Office in Munich on 16 November on patent protection for European Biotech’s many smart, sustainable SMEs. EuropaBio represents the interests of some 1800 SMEs and established its SME Platform in 2009. The Platform, which brings together enterprises with national biotech industry associations, venture capitalists, financing bodies and other stakeholders, focuses its activities on highlighting the challenges and financial constraints that biotech SMEs face, as well as developing policy recommendations to optimise EU and member state funding instruments for biotech SMEs.
Dr Andrea Rappagliosi, Chair of EuropaBio, concluded: “Developing an enhanced European Patent is a critical issue not only for European SMEs but for our overall capacity to become an Innovation Union. The protection of intellectual property rights is important for all sectors of economic life and is paramount to Europe’s competitiveness. We commend the Belgian Presidency and European Commission for their commitment towards SMEs but in that spirit, we urge the European Council to now act without further delay given the fragile economic climate that these companies are operating in”.
EuropaBio is the European Association for Bioindustries, bringing together bioscience companies from all fields of research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of biotechnology products. It has 66 corporate and 7 associated members, 4 BioRegions and 22 National Biotechnology Associations representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises.