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The Difficult Interface between Opposition Proceedings before the EPO and parallel national proceedings: will the new Spanish Patent Act shed some light?

One of the tricky consequences of Article 64 of the European Patent Convention (“EPC”), which establishes that the European patent is immediately enforceable after its publication, and Article 99, which provides for “post-grant” oppositions, is that quite often the combination of these two articles fuels two trains that run in parallel where the validity of the patent is revisited. Since the EPC does not contain any provision addressing this situation, this leaves it up to the national laws of contracting parties to the EPC to devise a solution.

In contrast, the Community Trademark Regulation, for example, establishes that a Community trademark court hearing one of the actions envisaged in [...]

Challenges raised by multinational inventions to be discussed at the next AIPPI Annual Meeting in October: some proposals from Spain

One of the issues which will be discussed at the next annual meeting of AIPPI, due to take place in Rio de Janeiro in October 2015, is Q244, entitled “Inventorship of multinational inventions.”

In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly frequent for inventions to be the outcome of teamwork conducted by persons from different jurisdictions. This, coupled with the lack of a universally-accepted concept of “inventor” and the “local first-filing requirement” contained in the laws of many countries, raises formidable challenges for applicants. Sometimes they are confronted with legal requirements from several countries which cannot be simultaneously fulfilled, which places applicants in an imp [...]

New Spanish Patents Act coming into force on 1 April 2017

On 25 July 2015, the Spanish Official State Gazette published the text of Act 24/2015, of 24 July 2015, on Patents (“New Patents Act” or “the new Law”), which is due to come into force on 1 April 2017. Although a blog is too short a place to discuss a law that has 186 articles, 10 “additional provisions”, 6 “transitory provisions”, 1 “derogatory provision”, and 9 “final provisions”, what follows is a short account of the aspects that the author finds of particular interest:

The first aspect deals with the examination and granting procedure, which has been changed completely. The New Patents Act has abandoned the “à la carte” examination procedure, whereby applicants were free to choose whet [...]

Innovation at the Mobile World Congress sparks innovation at Barcelona Commercial Courts

Technological innovation has left deep footprints on the evolution of International Law. In the mid-1960s, in his course at The Hague Academy of International Law, professor Mouton explained that every time inventors conceived a revolutionary invention, politicians had to devise an international organization to take care of it. A classic example is the establishment of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine – the first international organization in history – created in 1815, following Robert Fulton’s invention of the steamboat. Technological innovation has also left footprints on the way the courts devise procedures to improve the administration of justice. A recent example c [...]

Spanish Courts move one step further towards the path of specialisation

In a world of increasing legal complexity, it is a common ground – except in Luxembourg – that the lack of specialisation results in the administration of injustice rather than in the administration of justice. The President of Section 15 of the Barcelona Court of Appeal appeared to have this logic in mind when, in 1993, he had the vision to persuade his fellow Judges to assign the different Sections of that Court to various specialised areas. For example, it was decided that Section 15 would be the only competent Section to resolve appeals in patent cases. At that time this was an absolute revolution, as the old structures and inertia of the Spanish judicial system was such that this gr [...]

Spanish Court clarifies that “restitutio in integrum” applies to SPCs

The legendary deficient regulation of supplementary protection certificates (“SPCs”) has caused the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (the “SPTO”) and Spanish Courts to struggle as to whether or not the “restitutio in integrum” procedure available to patents is also applicable to SPCs. The High Court of Justice of Madrid, in a recent Judgment of 22 April 2015, has reached an affirmative conclusion, thus revoking a decision of the SPTO that had rejected the applicability of “restitutio in integrum” to SPCs. The facts of the case may be summarised as follows.

A U.S. company filed an application for an SPC before the SPTO after the deadline established in Article 7 of Regulation 2009/469/EC ( [...]

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