The Council of Ministers approved at its meeting last Friday the referral to the Cortes of a draft law that reviews the legal framework of industrial property in Spain through a thorough renewal of the Law 11/1986 of Patents, in force to date.

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The main objective is to strengthen the Spanish patent system, going from a framework in which the important thing was to promote the initiative to patent a new framework in which we want to prioritize the truly inventive, innovative and novel activity.

The procedures are simplified and the regulations are adapted to the international framework of industrial property, favoring the internationalization of companies.

It thus passes “weak” patents characterized by often generating technological bubbles, high litigation and unjustified monopolies to “strong” patents comparable to International Systems. In addition, procedures are simplified and regulations are adapted to the international framework.

Main aspects that are regulated

The draft Patent Law clarifies and simplifies the procedure for granting the patent, which will always entail a prior examination that proves that the invention is new, inventive and has industrial application. In addition, Spanish legislation is adapted to the community and other international standards and treaties.

On the other hand, entrepreneurial initiative is encouraged by reducing the rate for obtaining a patent for entrepreneurs by 50%.

Utility models, for minor inventions, are also strengthened. Its scope is extended to chemical products and its regime is modified by the global novelty requirement. Furthermore, its solidity is guaranteed by the requirement of the report on the state of the preliminary ruling technique.
Finally, the complementary protection certificates, or CCP, are expressly included among the titles of protection, industrial property title that extends for a maximum term of five years the protection granted to a patent of a pharmaceutical or phytosanitary product, to compensate the greater the period of time that elapses for these products from the moment the patent is granted until its marketing is authorized.

Benefits of the new legal framework.

  • For the competition : avoid unjustified monopolies.
  • For citizens : it guarantees the seriousness of patents, and simplifies procedures, reducing administrative burdens.
  • For the Administration and the courts : the overload of the Administration and of the courts is avoided, since unjustified monopolies will not be granted.
  • Finally, the protection of innovation by SMEs and entrepreneurs is encouraged by reducing the cost of the procedure to obtain a patent.