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EU Patent Patchwork Is Too Costly, Helps U.S., China

The European Union risks handing a competitive advantage to the U.S. and China if it fails to change a patent system which companies, such as Air Liquide SA, say costs too much.

“There’s an urgency to find a solution to de-block this point on competitiveness for our companies,” Michel Barnier, the EU’s internal-market commissioner, said at a conference in Brussels yesterday. “We won’t be credible if prices for our patents in Europe are above those of U.S. patents.”