A press release sums up the bad state of affairs neatly:
"The Communication highlights that Europe's current patent system is considerably more expensive than the US and Japanese systems. A Community patent would be far more attractive than models under the present system which is a bundle of national patents. A European patent designating 13 countries is 11 times more expensive than a US patent and 13 times more expensive then a Japanese patent. The existing system of patent litigation in the EU, with the risk of multiple patent litigation in several countries on the same patent issue, leads to unnecessary costs for all the parties involved and causes lack of legal certainty."
But how to improve the situation? The member States are divided:
"Recent discussions with Member States show polarised positions on patent jurisdiction arrangements with, on the one hand, Member States supporting the draft European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) in the context of the European Patent Convention, and, on the other hand, Member States favouring the establishment of a specific Community jurisdiction for patent litigation on European and Community patents based on the EC Treaty."