20 February 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Spain should ‘reconsider’ position on unitary patent

The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) has called on the Spanish government to reconsider the country’s participation in the unitary patent system.

In a non-legislative motion, submitted on 13 February, the PSOE said it is “necessary to reconsider the position of the Spanish government”, as it is only one of two EU member states that remain outside of the system.

Spain has stood against the unitary patent since its inception due to concerns over the system’s language arrangements.

“Maintaining its opposition to the unitary patent system ... will seriously undermine the competitiveness of our companies and our innovation process once this system comes into force,” the PSOE argued.

Addressing arguments against the potential language barrier of the system, the PSOE said: “The damage generated by the language regime has effected any Spanish company that wants to register its European patent through the European Patent Office ... if left outside the new system, the damage will be greater.”

The motion also suggested that Spain could use the UK’s exit from the EU to request the London seat of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) central division.

“The imminent departure of the UK from the union could lead to a delay in entry of the new patent system, because it was envisaged that the headquarters of one of the specialised divisions of the UPC would be located in London.”

“A possible delay that should be taken advantage of by the Spanish government adopting a proactive and conciliatory position that would allow us to reposition the position to Spain.”

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