"Away from the negotiating table, the French are hosting a conference in Strasbourg in the middle of October on patent harmonisation. But looking at the programme, this seems to be about going over old ground, rather than finding solutions to the problems that are holding talks up. Looking at the list of speakers, I noticed just one from Spain and not one from Italy. Given that these are two of the countries that have been most opposed to the introduction of a unitary system that strikes me as quite telling. Now, it could well be that in the next three months everything will change and momentum towards a deal will build again. But right now, looking at the evidence, I am inclined to believe that my source is correct. Patents are no longer a French priority. And because of this, the French government will not seek to use up political capital which could be spent elsewhere on getting a meaningful deal done on either the Community patent and/or the Community patent court."