The proposed Community Patent aims to make patent protection within the European Union just as affordable as in the United States and Japan.

Whether this can be achieved with the compromise presently discussed between the European Union Member States is, however, doubtful as it requires the patent claims to be translated into all the 20 official languages of the European Union. On the basis of the current translation charges, the average translation costs would exceed €4000 per patent, which is more than all procedural fees together. It is precisely these costs that of course do not arise in the United States and Japan.

But by introducing computer-aided translations and adapting the drafting of patent claims to the requirements of automated translation, translation costs could be reduced considerably. Thereby the purpose of being able to compete with the United States and Japan in granting patent protection could still be achieved.

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Dr. Stefan Rolf Huebner

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