Majority supports joining EU patent court

Two parties oppose joining the court, which is hoped to make defending patents in the EU easier

A majority of Danes would vote in favour of joining the EU patent court if the referendum were held today, according to a poll by Altinget.

Some 54 percent would vote in favour while 20 percent would vote against the referendum. Twenty-six percent have not decided how they will vote.

Patent holders in the EU risk having to defend their patents in each of the 28 EU countries, but the Unified Patent Court (UPC) would be a single body that they could turn to instead.

READ MORE: It’s official: Danes to vote on EU patent court

Businesses in favour
The UPC is supported by business groups who argue that the court would make it cheaper and easier for Danes to protect their inventions.

The government has acknowledged that letting the EU rule on Danish patents would be a violation of Danish sovereignty, however, meaning a five sixths parliamentary majority is needed in order to join.

But two parties oppose joining the court – Enhedslisten and Dansk Folkeparti – meaning that the government was unable to secure the necessary super majority.

READ MORE: Anti-EU parties call for referendums to brake integration

Referendum on May 25
As a result, a referendum will be held on May 25 – the same day as the European Parliament elections – in which a majority of Danes need to support Denmark's inclusion in the UPC in order for the country to join.

Despite the strong support for inclusion in the UPC from the public, six out of eight political parties, and the business community, Enhedslisten thinks that more Danes will end up opposing it once they realise its consequences.

“If we join the EU patent court, we will lose democratic and legal influence over our patents and I think Danes can follow that argument,” Nicolaj Villumsen (EL) told Altinget.