Second Spanish challenge – details now available


The pleas in the Spanish challenge to the legality of the unitary patent and language regulations (1257/12 and 1260/12) are now available – see C-146/13 and C-147/13. The pleas extend further than the expected challenge based on Article 118 TFEU. One especially interesting series of pleas relate to misapplication of the Meroni doctrine – see C-9/56 – which (with subsequent case law) takes a relatively strict view on the limits of the power of the Commission to delegate to administrative authorities, in this case the powers delegated to the EPO to administer the unitary patent. This aspect of the challenge also raises the possibility that as and when the SPC regulations are amended, the Spanish will also seek to block adoption of those amendments, or challenge them insofar as they seek to delegate powers to the EPO to grant SPCs, especially if a mechanism is not created to enable the CJEU to exercise a supervisory jurisdiction over this aspect of the EPO’s procedure. Further analysis will follow.

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