The European Furniture Industries Confederation, EFIC, is calling for a rapid implementation of the planned EU patent.
The EU patent means less bureaucracy, more legal security and lower costs for companies. 25 EU member states had approved the patent court agreement in 2013 but to date only 5 countries have implemented it nationally. It is only when all participating countries have ratified it that it will it be possible to achieve a European patent with uniform effect. This legal title, which makes the uniform protection of an invention possible in over 25 member states on the basis of a “one stop shop”, is of enormous significance for the furniture industry. Significant costs and administrative hurdles would disappear and the protection of intellectual property would be facilitated.
“The current system is extremely expensive and involves bureaucracy. Securing European-wide patent protection still requires registration in each individual country. This is not affordable for companies, in particular for our small and medium sized companies. We are therefore calling for a rapid implementation of the EU patent with respect to local protection but also to remain competitive internationally,” stated Markus Wiesner, Chairman of the European Furniture Industries Confederation.
The current patent registration system represents a barrier to growth and is particularly counterproductive in the difficult economic situation. The creative and innovative strength of the European companies are hindered. “Innovation and research, however, are the cornerstone for international competition,” explained Markus Wiesner. The association therefore sees an urgent need for action in the EU member states, in order to make Europe a more attractive production site.
The furniture sector is an established sector with long history, substantial technological advances and established markets. The furniture sector makes a significant contribution to the European economy: in most of the European countries it represents between 2 and 4% of the production value of the overall manufacturing sector, it provides 1.1 million jobs in close to 130.000 enterprises, mainly micro and small sized. At present, the EU furniture industry remains one of the most integrated and of the best differentiated in terms of product variety in the world.