The Official State Gazette for the penultimate day of the year came out with a surprise in the form of the publication of a decision whereby the National Judicial Council has designated specialized courts to hear IP related lawsuits in the following autonomous communities:
Barcelona Mercantile Courts Nos. 1, 4 and 5: patents and industrial designs
Barcelona Mercantile Courts Nos. 2, 6, 8 and 9: trademarks
Madrid Mercantile Courts Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10
Valencia Mercantile Court No. 2: patentsValencia Mercantile Courts Nos. 1 and 3: trademarks and industrial designs
The decision has been prompted by the risk (relative though it may be), perceived upon the promulgation of the new Law 24/2015 on Patents, that lawsuits in the IP field could migrate to Barcelona. It will take effect from April 2017, which is when that new law comes into force.
It remains to be seen whether, since the geographical scope of the specialization remains limited, legal actions are going to be concentrated in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia (together with Alicante) to the exclusion of other autonomous communities. However, that is another story. For the moment, the decision of the National Judicial Council may be received with relief and applause.