• »Creative Competence 
      at Innovations«
  • »Good Ideas need Comprehensive 
      Protection and Strict Enforcement«
  • »Excellent Service Counts«
  • »Sm@rt Solutions
      For Our Clients«
  • »Competence and Diversity
      combined in a proactive Approach«
  • »Worldwide and 
      Dynamic Networks«
  • »IP protects Innovations,
      PATGUARD protects your IP«

ECJ dismissed action of Spain and Italy against Unitary Patent

Thanks to the decision by the Council of the European Union regarding the empowerment of a strengthened cooperation, at least 25 of the 27 member states could expedite the creation of a unitary patent protection and could recently, i.e. in February this year, sign the agreement regarding the unified patent court, after the two regulations regarding the unitary patent and the translation requirements were already approved in December last year. Spain and Italy bothered about this and filed a suit before the ECJ for disallowance of the strengthened cooperation.

On April 16, 2013, the suit of the two countries was rejected by the ECJ which reasoned that the Council of the European Union was in fact responsible for the creation of a unitary patent protection, that the requirement of unanimity was not circumvented when the Council overrode Italy’s and Spain’s rejection regarding the language regulation and that furthermore, Spain’s and Italy’s rights were not infringed with the language regulation. The defeated parties Italy and Spain were ordered to pay the costs.

In the meantime, Spain filed another suit before the ECJ for nullification of the regulation regarding the unitary patent and the language regulation approved in December 2012. This decision is still pending. We are of the opinion that the regulation cannot be nullified because of the lawsuit. It therefore has to be expected that the patent with unitary effect will enter into force on January 1, 2014 (a delay of the date is probable).

April 30, 2013; Vanessa Bockhorni (PAin)

Sources: Decision by the European Court of Justice dated April 16, 2013; C-274/11 and C-295/11

© Bockhorni & Brüntjen
Partnerschaft Patentanwälte mbB

powered by enterprise