"[...] Efforts to break the logjam over a so-called 'community patent' - a single intellectual property right which would give a holder protection in all 27 EU countries - have gathered pace in recent months and are being pursued by the current Slovenian presidency. [...]
The last effort to launch a community patent had to be abandoned in 2003, because countries were unable to agree on a language regime for the new IP right.
But under proposals being hammered out in Brussels, officials hope to offer countries the option of machine-based translation, which could convert a patent into all 23 official EU languages for minimal cost in a matter of minutes.
Officials say that this would cost only a few million euros to set up, and allow equal treatment for all languages.
Such translations would be for information purposes and would not be legally binding, and most litigation would be conducted in either French, German or English. However, officials claim that only about 1 per cent of patents are ever challenged. [...]"
Well, it was widely expected that during the French EU Presidency after July 01, 2008, important things would happen.
[UPDATE 2008-04-30] See Official Document 8928/08 issued by the Slovenian EU Presidency and addressed to the Working Party on Intellectual Property (Patents) which will discuss it on May 15, 2008. Tt is titled "Towards a Community patent - Translation arrangements and distribution of fees" and goes further into the details.