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Spain UPC
Blog 8 Mar 2017

Spanish parliament votes in favour of joining Unitary Patent system

Written by Rolf Suurmond
On March 7, 2017, the Spanish parliament voted for a non-binding motion, which calls on the government to reconsider joining the Unitary Patent system. The motion was filed last month by the socialist opposition party PSOE.

Important to note is that all the parties, apart from the Partido Popular, voted in favour of the motion. The Partido Popular, however, runs the minority government in Spain. According to the initiator of the motion, Patricia Blanquer, Spain should follow Italy and join the Unitary Patent system, because it would not be good for Spanish competitiveness to be one of the few states who do not join.

Also, the initiators of the motion hope that the Central Division of the Unified Patent Court might be moved from London to Spain, when the UK leaves the EU. The Central Division will become a large office that would create a lot of extra income for the country hosting it. Currently, it is generally expected that if the Central Division would have to move away from London, it would move to Milan.

Since the running government does not support the motion, it remains unclear if and when Spain might actually decide to join the Unitary Patent system. If it does, it would be an important boost for the Unitary Patent system, because then all major EU economies would be covered, except for Poland and Croatia.