The European Parliament agreed in February to establish a system for patenting new products or discoveries that will be valid in all participating EU countries. Twelve member states requested the EU’s enhanced cooperation procedure after failing to agree on a common patent procedure. A unitary patent system will allow inventors to apply for a patent once, instead of country by country, making it easier, cheaper and safer to move innovative ideas across borders. The EU will submit two proposals, one establishing a single patent system and the other to support consultation on parallel language translations to ensure wording is identical in all member states. Only Italy and Spain have refused to participate in the enhanced cooperation procedure. For patent information, visit the European Patent Office website.