The Council of Ministers approved today the Regulation for the implementation of the Patent Law (Law 24/2015) by means of a Royal Decree. The new patent law and regulation will enter into force on April 1, 2017.

The law 24/2015 replaces the previous law of 1986 and also some provisions that up to now were reflected in other legal texts, for example those related to the application of the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty in Spain.

The new law introduces substantial changes in the national patent system, both for patents and for utility models. Some of the changes relate to substantive issues and others are merely procedural.

The changes foresee, among others, the introduction of a mandatory substantive examination for patents and the possibility for third parties to oppose the grant of a patent. In addition, in the new framework there will be consequences if the requirement to submit the first application before the SPTO is not met when the invention has been made in Spain: ensuing European patents or PCT applications will have no effect in Spain.

With regard to utility models, absolute novelty will be required and the scope of protection will be extended to chemical products. Finally, in case of infringement, it will be mandatory to file a report on the state of the art from the SPTO together with the lawsuit.

Do not hesitate to contact us for further information or for advice on the application of the new law to specific cases.