"Will 2009 finally be the year in which Europe starts to make real progress towards a Community patent and a unitary court system? Some think there is still hope, most of the rest of us are rather less optimistic. In the end, it seems, Europe is far more comfortable talking a good fight than fighting one. When it comes down to it, national self-interest will usually trump any initiative that may leave some national patent offices out of pocket and some countries feeling linguistically diminished. Things are not helped by a Commission that often seems to hold contradictory views on IP (although Commissioners are set t be replaced in June 2009). What could change things is if European leaders get the bit between their teeth, as the seemed to in 2007. With so many other things to worry about, however, you have to wonder whether there will be time for patents in 2009."