Another Step Towards the Implementation of the “Unitary Patent Package”

May 11, 2015

The Court of Justice of the European Union on 5 May 2015, in cases C-146/13 and C-147/13, has followed Advocate General Yves Bot’s1 opinion and dismissed, as expected, the Kingdom of Spain’s actions against the Regulations implementing enhanced cooperation for the creation of a unitary patent.

For more than four decades, attempts to create a unitary patent system for the European Union have failed, but significant developments in recent years have opened the door to a “Unitary Patent Package”. The intention of the European Legislature has been to maintain the current system of the Convention on the Grant of European Patents (EPC) and improve upon it. The “package” includes a unitary protection to European patents and establishes a specific unified Court. However, the Kingdom of Spain (Spain), the project’s main opponent, has introduced actions seeking the annulment of Regulations No 1257/2012 and 1260/2012 respectively, creating a unitary protection conferred by a patent and establishing the translation arrangements.

On 18 November 2014, Advocate General Yves Bot released his Opinion in which he suggested the Court of Justice dismiss Spain’s claims. The Court of Justice has now done so in its ruling on 5 May 2015. The two Regulations are part of the Unitary Patent Package, along with the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court and Statute that was signed by 25 Member States of the European Union on 19 February 2013.

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