In September of 2013 the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (“SPTO”) published a draft Patents Act, which will hopefully be approved by Parliament within the next few months, assuming that the election calendar so permits. During the last year, the draft has received numerous comments from the stakeholders concerned, including the Spanish competition authorities and the “General Council for the Judiciary” (“GCJ”), the administrative organ that governs the Spanish Judiciary.
One of the suggestions made by the GCJ at paragraphs 116-119 of its Report of 24 July 2014 has been the introduction of a procedure roughly equivalent to “protective writs.” In particular, the Report contains the followi [...]
On 12 September 2014, the Barcelona Court of Appeal (Section 15) handed down a decision confirming a preliminary injunction preventing a Spanish company from marketing capsules claimed to be compatible with what is known as the Nespresso® system, which raises a handful of interesting legal points.
The first point of interest discussed was whether or not the appeal proceedings against the first instance decision which had ordered a preliminary injunction should be discontinued after the Court of First Instance (Barcelona Commercial Court number 5) handed down a judgment on the merits, upholding the infringement complaint. After the judgment in the main proceedings came out, the complainant [...]
As readers well know, over the years many patent offices around the world have opened the door to the patentability of so-called “second medical uses” to foster research on possible solutions to unmet medical needs based on the use of already known compounds. Although the most developed patent offices such as the European Patent Office (“EPO”) and the United States Patent Office (“USPO”) have a relatively long history of accepting these types of claims, their effective protection may be distorted by existing regulatory regimes. For example, in countries where electronic-prescribing (“e-prescribing”) software cause an active principle to be prescribed for all possible uses regardless of the f [...]
As the readers well know, the European Patent Convention (“EPC”) system allows the validity of European patents to be challenged through two different routes: (i) oppositions filed before the European Patent Office (“EPO”); and (ii) revocation actions filed before national Courts. This system, which has its advantages, has disadvantages as well. For example, it may result in a waste of the time, money and other resources invested into litigating before a national Court if, when the proceedings before the national Court are at an advanced stage, the train that is running in parallel before the EPO leads the patent to the revocation station.
In countries where Judges have discretion to decide [...]
On 17 July 2014, Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón issued his opinion in Case C-364/13 International Stem Cell Corporation v. Comptroller General of Patents, whereby he proposed that the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) give the following response to a question referred by the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division (Patents Court), of England and Wales regarding the meaning of “human embryos” in article 6(2) (c) of Directive 98/44/EC: “Unfertilised human ova whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis are not included in the term “human embryos” in article 6(2) (c) of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 [...]
One of the most salient aspects of the draft of the new Spanish Patent Act which Spain’s Parliament will be discussing in the coming months is the dramatic modification of the legal regime governing utility models. Although there were rumours that the Spanish government would perhaps eliminate them from the new draft (since within some circles they are considered a bit of an anachronism), in reading the draft finally approved by the Council of Ministers, it transpires that utility models are here to stay. The new provisions introduced in the draft affect mainly the relevant state of the art, the type of inventions which can be protected via a utility model and the conditions for enforcing th [...]