ECJ clears the way for the unitary patent

May 2015

Yesterday the ECJ delivered two judgments which both dismissed Spain’s actions trying to annul the regulations forming part of the unitary patent.

Yesterday the ECJ delivered two judgments which both dismissed Spain’s actions trying to annul the regulations forming part of the unitary patent; the regulation on the creation of unitary patent protection (Case C-146/13) and the regulation governing the applicable translation arrangements (Case C-147/13).  European Member States, the European institutions and individuals may, under certain conditions, bring an action for annulment before the ECJ. If the action is successful, this means the regulation no longer exists.

By dismissing the actions, the ECJ has removed any uncertainty over the legality on the legislation surrounding the unitary patent and the future unified patent court (UPC).  Following the judgements, the European Patent Office welcomed the decision, and expressed its hope that the judgments give new impetus to the process of ratification and implementation of the UPC Agreement, and that the unitary patent package can come into operation in the course of 2016.

Press release of the CJEU

Judgment (5.5.2015) of the CJEU in Case Spain v Parliament and Council (C-146/13)

Judgment (5.5.2015) of the CJEU in Case Spain v Council (C-147/13)

EPO welcomes CJEU decisions which clear the way for the unitary patent