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Spain challenges EU Unitary Patent Proposal

Thu 28th Mar 2013
Spain challenges EU Unitary Patent Proposal

In a move which puts national pride ahead of the development of trade for the country and the wider EU, Spain has brought a further 2 actions before the Court of Justice to the European Union to challenge the EU Regulations for the ‘Unitary Patent Package'.

The EU proposals were for one uniform and standard system of patents to be intriduced across Europe, as opposed to each country having their own system. Therefore a company wishing to launch a new product much make a patent application in each induvidual country at significant costs. The new system proposes one centralised system, with applications being able to be submitted in either English, French or German - something which has angered the Spanish and Italians.

Spain, along with Italy, has previously challenged the proposals for the Unitary EU Patent before the CJEU - The earlier challenge being on the grounds that use of the ‘enhanced cooperation' procedure to create the new system was contrary to EU law.

The Court has not yet issued its judgment in those cases, but the opinion of the Advocate General was that the complaint should be dismissed.

The details of Spain's new complaints (CJEU cases C-146/13 and C-147/13) are not yet publicly available. However, whatever the details, it seems that this new challenge could significantly delay the implementation of the new unitary patent system.

Comment on this Story

The new system doesn't yet displace the existing European systems - it will operate alongside them. If experience shows it works better, it may ultimately displace them. When introducing a new product, it is not necessary (though it may be desirable) to file any patent application, let alone one in all countries of the European Union. The new Spanish action is unlikely to slow down implementation of the new system - though it might (if successful) stop it altogether.
Tim Roberts - Mon, 1st Apr 2013
Based on your ealier news story, the reasons as to why Spain and Italy have not had their languages included in the new regulations seems perfectly clear. It is just plain sulking on their parts that any of the very few businesses in Spain or Italy that might wish to file a patent will now have to do so in another language.
Robster - Thu, 28th Mar 2013

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