OXFORD - European inventors will be able to get cheaper patents that are legally valid throughout the European Union under a plan unveiled by the European Commission to create a Community Patent. The proposed plan also promises to provide a clearer legal framework in the case of disputes.

At the moment, patents are awarded either on a national basis or through the European Patent Office, which grants so-called European patents that are essentially a bundle of national patents. But while the EPO offers a single application and granting procedure, it does not remove the requirement in many countries that the patent be translated into their official languages in order to