Charlie McCreevy, then European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, with responsibility for developing the single EU-wide patent (known as the Community Patent or Single Patent), cautioned in a 2005 speech that the then decades old process was reminiscent of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play “Waiting for Godot,” in which the two protagonists, Vladamir and Estragon wait futilely for Godot, who never arrives.  Since McCreevy’s comment many commentators have referred to the single patent as ‘Godot.’

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