By a May 26 2016 agreement, which was published officially on June 29 2016, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) reallocated exclusive competence for IP matters among the various Barcelona commercial courts. The agreement entered into force on July 1 2016.

The agreement was adopted following a proposal by the judges of the Barcelona commercial courts and modifies the CGPJ's previous agreement of November 23 2011 (for further details please see "Further specialisation of Barcelona commercial courts in IP matters").

The new distribution of exclusive competence in IP matters is as follows:

  • Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 1, 4 and 5 will deal with matters regarding patents, industrial design and utility models.
  • Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 2, 6, 8 and 9 will deal with matters regarding trademarks, copyright claims (not from collecting societies) and approved refinancing agreements.
  • Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 3, 7 and 10 will deal with matters regarding unfair competition, advertising, antitrust and certain bankruptcy proceedings.

The changes are particularly relevant to:

  • industrial design matters, which will no longer be handled by Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 2 and 8, but will now be dealt with by the patent courts (Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 1, 4 and 5); and
  • trademark matters, where Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 2 and 8 will now share their exclusive competence with Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 6 and 9, which previously had no exclusive competence in IP matters.

Further, the new agreement grants competence in unfair competition matters to Barcelona Commercial Court Number 10, which previously had no exclusive competence in unfair competition or IP matters.

All other matters falling within the competence of the commercial courts, including specific matters regarding company laws which were previously dealt with exclusively by Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 6, 9 and 10, will now be distributed among all the Barcelona commercial courts.

The reallocation means that more of the commercial courts will handle IP-related cases – two more for trademark matters (Barcelona Commercial Courts Numbers 6 and 9) and one more for unfair competition matters (Barcelona Commercial Court Number 10) – and is a further step towards the specialisation of the Barcelona commercial courts in IP matters.

For further information on this topic please contact Dalia Ferrando at Grau & Angulo by telephone (+34 93 202 34 56) or email (d.ferrando@gba-ip.com). The Grau & Angulo website can be accessed at www.gba-ip.com.

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