The Unitary Patent System

After 14 years of preparation and work, the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court are finally a reality in the 17 EU member states that, as of 1.6.2023, have ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) (signed by 24 Member States).

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The right to an interpreter in court

In 2016, roughly 150,000 requests were made for face-to-face language interpreter and translation services in England and Wales. 97% of these requests were successful.

Unless the case is privately funded, the MoJ obliges to provide these services free of charge. Criminal proceedings make up the majority, followed by tribunal and then civil requests. But calling this a ‘right’ is to stray into murky territory; viewing this more as a ‘custom’ might be more appropriate. While there is no legal right to an interpreter in court, if you ask for one, you will most likely gain access to one.

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English used in German Chambers for commercial matters

Will its use make Germany and German law a more attractive option for cross-border commercial litigation after Brexit?

The UK legal market has a strong global position due to the popularity of English law and the English language: some 27% of the world's 320 legal jurisdictions use English Common law. Many private companies also choose to use English for the drafting of their contracts and during ARD, and with the language comes the choice of English law. Further to this, EU membership and the adoption of the current EU regulations on the enforcement of court orders make English orders enforceable throughout the EU in a simple and quick manner in certain qualifying cases.

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The European e-Justice Portal: An introduction to the different legal systems in Europe

Accessible in all EU languages!

The European e-Justice Portal is part of the EU Commission initiative on Justice. It is intended to provide a single online access point for judicial information and services. For citizens, businesses and practitioners concerned with cross-border legal matters alike, it informs those interested on:

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Facilitating Multilingual Patent Searches with EPO

Patent searches are not trivial. Every country files patents in its own language, databases are usually at a national level and access to these databases can require many different criteria.

To address this issue, the EPO developed Espacenet, the patent search tool par excellence. It offers free access to a wealth of information on inventions and innovation. With the adoption of Patent Translate, it provides access to patents published in 28 different languages and translates their contents to the user’s language.


What is Patent Translate?

Patent Translate is a joint patent Multilingual Translation service offered by Google and the EPO. The EPO provides the technical text corpora in various languages and Google provides the statistical machine translation tool trained with the relevant textual corpora. Thanks to this technological partnership, the EPO provides the public with easy and free-of-charge access to documents drafted and filed in other languages. Patent Translate is an effective, practical and user-friendly information tool: one can simultaneously compare the original text with the translations in different languages to build a broader understanding of the invention described in the patent.

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