Europe moves a step closer to a unified patent system
Political agreement was reached at the June 2012 European Council meeting on what had been termed as the last remaining issue on Europe’s new patent system — the location of the Central Division for the Unified Patent Court. The new patent system (which is to provide a unitary patent as well as a unified patent court) is undoubtedly now closer to becoming a reality than ever before in its history since the 1975 draft of a Community Patent. Still, much of the detail of how the new system will operate remains to be decided, and several hurdles remain to be overcome.
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For the past 10 months, the US Department of Justice and the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission have advised the public that they are in the process of drafting guidance for companies regarding the requirements of, and prohibitions within, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.