UNITARY PATENT ACTIONS BY ITALY AND SPAIN DISMISSED

European court of justiceThe Court of Justice of the European Union has dismissed the case brought by Italy and Spain who objected to the legality of the enhanced cooperation procedure used to bring in the unitary patent. Both countries objected to Italian and Spanish not being considered as official languages for the European patent (only English, French and German are) and claimed that the contested decision caused damage to the internal market and the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU. On the contrary, the Court of Justic found that the Council’s decision to authorise enhanced cooperation contributed to the process of integration as otherwise it had been impossible to reach common arrangements for the whole European Union within a reasonable time period.

The CJ also held to be unfounded Spain and Italy’s argument that the protection conferred by the unitary patent would not be advantageous in terms of uniformity, and so of integration, compared to the situation created by the operation of the rules laid down by the EPC.  Furthermore, the court ruled that the contested decision did not prejudice any competence, rights or obligation of those Member States not participating in the enhanced cooperation procedure.

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