The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has dismissed both of Spain’s challenges to the legality of two of the regulations forming part of the Unified Patent package.
Spain had sought an annulment of the regulation implementing enhanced co-operation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection (Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012, the “UPP Regulation”) and the regulation implementing enhanced co-operation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements (Regulation (EU) No 1260/2012, the “Translation Regulation”).
Spain argued that the UPP Regulation undermined the principle of effective judicial protection, as the procedure preceding the grant of a European patent is not subject to judicial review; and that Article 118 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) was not an adequate legal basis for the UPP Regulation as the UPP Regulation does not include measures guaranteeing the uniform protection of intellectual property rights throughout the European Union. It also contested the regulation of the system for setting renewal fees and the means to determine the distribution of those fees.
In relation to the Translation Regulation, Spain argued that there had been an infringement of the principle of non-discrimination on the ground of language, as the official languages of the European Patent Office are English, French and German; as well as a lack of legal basis for the Translation Regulation in Article 118 of TFEU.
The CJEU rejected both of these challenges, allowing the Unitary Patent Package to proceed, although full text of the Decisions has yet to be released. Provided that the Unified Patent Court Agreement receives the necessary number of ratifications (from thirteen member states, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom), it will come into force on the first day of the fourth month after receiving this number of ratifications.”