Last year the two countries asked Europe’s highest court to stop the European Council from pursuing the unitary patent package under the enhanced cooperation procedure.
The two countries are particularly unhappy about the proposal to make English, French and German the official languages of the unitary patent system.
Today Advocate General Bot said that the question of the language arrangements for the unitary patent “is not a condition that determines the validity of the decision authorising enhanced cooperation” and advised the Court to rule that Italy and Spain’s request to prevent the use of the enhanced cooperation procedure is inadmissible.
Italy and Spain had argued that enhanced cooperation procedure authorised by the Council would undermine the internal market and economic, social and territorial cohesion; constitute a barrier to trade between member states; and distort competition between them.
But Bot dismissed their claims. “To my mind there is no evidence that it would do so: indeed, it would do precisely the opposite,” he wrote.
Although the Court is not obliged to follow the Advocate General’s advice, it does in the majority of cases.
The Court of Justice is expected to rule in the case next year. Keep up to date with all the unitary patent developments by bookmarking Managing IP's dedicated unitary patent page.