The Boletín Oficial del Estado (Official State Gazette) – published on 25 July, 2015 – contains the new Patent Law (Law 24/2015), which introduced significant changes to the Spanish patent protection system. Of these changes, we feel the need to highlight the following, given their importance
The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) recently submitted a first draft for a new Patent Act, which would replace the current one of 1986. As from 1986, several amendments have been implemented, however the new text submitted by the SPTO is a complete revision of the current Law. The new Law has been long awaited, since several requirements to comply with new International Treaties (among others, EPO 2000, TRIPS and Patent Law Treaty) ratified by Spain needed a number of amendments.
Important changes to Spanish intellectual property (IP) regulations have developed since the beginning of 2012. These include the removal of the levy that compensated rights holders for the making of private copies of their works, and the approval of the first rules against illegal downloads, introducing an administrative proceeding for taking down infringing websites. These developments are the start of a potential deep reviewing process of IP regulation to adapt the prevailing legislation to the challenges posed by the rise of new technologies. Some of the keys points of this review process are outlined below.
The recent Bonnier case before the European Court of Justice is another attempt to find a solution to the seemingly endless conflict between copyright holders and internet service providers (ISPs). In this case, an unknown person made publicly available 27 audio books through the ISP ePhone. Among the plaintiffs, Sweden’s Solna, requested that the ISP identify the offender in order in order to sue them in civil proceedings. The Court despite the opposition of ePhone ruled in favour of the plaintiffs. The ISP had based its opposition, among other reasons, on the fact that the ruling was contrary to Directive 2006/24 and filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal in Stockholm, which referred the matter to the ECJ. The Advocate General has now filed an opinion that concludes that Directive 2006/24 does not apply to cases other than those referred to in Article 1.1.