Has Spain changed its mind about the Unitary patent package since its actions were dismissed by the CJEU? According to the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain, it has not and the Spanish industry is much better off outside the system…
A few weeks after Spain’s actions were dismissed by the ECJ, the Kluwer Patent Blog publishes an interview of the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE), in which the Confederation explains why they strongly support Spain’s government’s opposition to the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent and why they wish to remain out of the UPC Agreement.
It appears unambiguously that the CEOE believes that “the UPC Agreement will not be beneficial to most EU entreprises and will be very detrimental to SMEs” justifying therefore CEOE’s strong opposition to the Unitary Patent package.
The CEOE’s main concern in that respect is the language regime adopted by the UPCA , namely the fact that the unitary patent will have to be filled in English, French or German. For the CEOE “this gives a competitive advantage to enterprises which use one of these languages, to the detriment of enterprises of other Member States.” An example for the CEOE of the unsuitability of the trilingual language regime is the EPO which it considers to be “inefficient and expensive“.
The CEOE further justifies Spain’s position towards the UPC Agreement by arguing that Spanish companies will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the UPCA without the inconvenient as they “will not be obliged to respect in Spain Unitary Patents which have been granted without a Spanish translation with legal effects. Nor will Spanish companies be exposed to lawsuits over products and activities developed in Spain, before a Unified Patent Court in a foreign country and in a foreign language.” The CEOE finally insists that the UPCA, and in particular the court fees, have not been designed with SMEs in mind. The CEOE argues notably that “only big companies will be able to litigate. If SMEs are sued for infringement, they will have to give up, even if the patent of the plaintiff is invalid“.
It appears therefore that there is still a very strong opposition to the Unitary Patent package in Spain and that as a consequence Spain will not in the near future be part of the UPC Agreement.