One of the most memorable episodes in the Samsung-Apple patent war was also the most awkward by far, and we almost believed that the conditions that allowed for it had been eliminated at long last.
Unifying the patent systems of Europe and the US would put a stop to a lot of problems, such as Apple winning against Samsung in the US but losing in the UK and being ordered to publicly apologize and admit to being wrong on top of it.
When the European Parliament voted positively for the unification of the patent system, hope blossomed.
Sadly, there won't be any merger between the US and Europe on this matter. The patent system unification applies only to European countries.
The issue has been on the table for about 30 years. The decision was one of the most drawn-out in history.
One of the problems that prevented the decision for a long time was that of language. Under the new rules, it is enough to get a patent approved as long as it is written in German, French or English.
They will not have to be translated into the local language of every country where they will take effect.
This stepped on some toes though. Spain and Italy have chosen to opt out of the new system because their languages weren't given the same treatment.
On the bright side, it is a lot cheaper to get a patent now. Previously, it took 36,000 Euro ($46,829), but now it is possible to pass an application for just 4,725 Euro ($6,144). The location, technology type and law firm should not have much of an effect here, unlike in the US.
The biggest problem that the EU will be facing from now on is the tendency of a unified patent court to expand the range of patentable technologies too far.