An interesting new development: The “IP Fast Protocol” for the Mobile World Congress
The commercial courts in Barcelona have agreed to implement a protocol, as they did in 2015, for the quick resolution of potential intellectual property conflicts that may arise during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
From February 22 to 25, 2016, Barcelona is to become the world capital of mobile technology with the Mobile World Congress, “MWC”. This long-standing event showcases the latest developments in the field, with a conference program featuring speakers from the technology industry and huge business opportunities for participating companies. At present 94,000 attendees are expected.
One of the main attractions of the MWC are the new devices and apps, or simply the latest technological features. It is this, precisely, that can lead to intellectual property conflicts between Congress attendees. There are a myriad of possibilities: infringement of trademarks or designs or copyright conflicts.
In view of this possibility, the Panel of judges from the Barcelona commercial courts adopted, in its meeting of January 22, 2016, the so-called “IP fast protocol”, consisting of a series of guidelines to protect the lawful owners of industrial (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, etc.) and intellectual (copyrights, for example, in software) property rights, and to prevent unfair competition.
What does the protocol consist of?
- The judges undertake to give priority to the processing of applications for urgent injunctions by the conflicting parties.
- The judges agree to issue decisions on the injunctions within a maximum term of two days if they consider that they should be granted without hearing the other party, or in ten days if the other party is granted a hearing.
- In this regard, the judges are urging companies or individuals that present a product or service which they have reasonable grounds to believe may infringe third parties’ rights, to submit a precautionary document in court in order to avoid the potential injunction being granted without a hearing.
This protocol is extensive to related events in the future in which it might be applicable. The courts have also established an on-call service during the MWC.
When assessing the urgency of the injunction, the courts will bear in mind the speed with which the request was filed once the applicant became aware of the possible infringement, as well as the good faith of the applicant, which is urged to give the infringer enough time to respond.
The courts’ initiative is a major breakthrough in the protection of intellectual property rights in Spain, since it is an effective measure to speed up court proceedings in this field.
Participating companies may find it useful to appoint an intellectual property expert to handle the immediate filing of applications for urgent injunctions or precautionary documents.
In this regard, GARRIGUES has a strong intellectual property department, which will provide a special 24-hour service during the MWC in order to offer attendees highly specialized and in-depth legal advice: from filing an injunction against a competitor to drafting and filing precautionary documents, not to mention addressing other queries in this area.
Garrigues Intellectual Property Department