Cross-border: EuropeImplementation of the EU IP Rights Enforcement Directive

The enforcement of IP rights in Europe is primarily governed by national laws which differ significantly across the EU member states. Consider, for example, European patents. Despite the fact that they are granted under the European Patent Convention, issues relating to the infringement and enforcement of the national parts of granted European patents are handled by member states’ national courts, which apply domestic laws. This is also true in respect to Community trademarks and Community designs: although these rights are granted on the basis of EU regulations (which also contain directly applicable provisions on validity, infringement and penalties), they are enforced before the national courts of the individual EU member states, which apply domestic procedural laws. As a result, a pan-European IP litigation typically comprises several parallel lawsuits in a number of member states. Therefore, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a European IP litigation proceeding.

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