The AP just published a news story from Brussels featuring Dutch ACT member, Remi Caron, and president, Jonathan Zuck, discussing the importance of innovation in the European economy.
Many in Europe are impressed by the President Obama’s acknowledgment of a “sputnik moment” in the U.S. economy and his determination to fund innovation. Despite being home to some of the world’s brightest minds, Europe still trails behind the U.S. , Japan and China when it comes to fostering entrepreneurship.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks they currently face is the lack of a single European patent. Currently, one of the greatest costs for a patent in Europe is having to translate it into more than 20 different languages. The patent reform proposal currently under consideration would limit this to three languages and eliminate the excessive translation costs that make a European patent ten times more expensive than one in the U.S.
Should this reform pass, the existence of a strong patent system would attract VCs and other financiers who would be more willing to invest in companies knowing the intellectual property in their investment was secure. This is critical for European to level the playing field with American innovators.