Unitary Patent without Spain and Italy

The Court of Justice on April 16, 2013 dismissed the appeal filed by Spain and Italy against the Council’s decision to authorize the so-called enhanced cooperation in the Unitary European patent.

The Unitary Patent

The Unitary Patent will replace the European patent and will be valid across the European Union. It will no longer be necessary national validations and the filing of translations in the official languages ​​of the member states.

The main problem is the language. On the basis of negotiations between the states the official languages ​​of the unitary patent (referred to as UP) will be English, French and German. Following that Italy and Spain have refused to participate in the agreement, but in 2011 the European Council decided that the other 25 states of the Union could well use the enhanced cooperation procedure to create the Unitary Patent in the presence of “veto” of the two states and in that sense they proceeded.

The appeal filed by Italy and Spain

Italy and Spain, however, did not give up and filed an appeal to the Court of Justice against the Council Decision (Decision 2011/167/EU of 10 March 2011). The appeal has been rejected by the Court.

According to the Court, the decision to adopt the enhanced procedure contributes to the process of integration in such a case where it is impossible to reach unanimity. In addition, this procedure does not infringe upon the rights of the individual were not participating in the cooperation.

Following the decision of the Court, Spain has already filed two other appeals (Joined Cases C-146/13 and C-147/13). We do not know what Italy will do, if decides to file a new appeal or if prefers to take part of the Unitary Patent in the version already approved by other states.