The ECJ issued an opinion on Tuesday stating that that the planned European and Community Patent Court "would alter the essential character of the powers conferred on the institutions of the European Union and on the Member States."

While this is a blow for those in favour of simplifying procedures and reducing costs associated with challenging alleged patent infringements in national courts, all is not lost. The Competitiveness Council yesterday "gave the green light for a group of 25 member states to create a unitary patent system in the form of a so-called enhanced co-operation" (a prospect previously reported on Tomilaw). It is anticipated that the new system will streamline the process of registering patents thereby reducing cost. So, it looks as thought the appetite for change is still there...