ECJ treats of the week
Right: interpreting TRIPs Article 33 - is it just a piece of cake?
Tomorrow morning Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer treats the Grand Chamber of the ECJ to the benefit of his Opinion in a case that the IPKat didn't see coming: Case C-431/05 Merck Genéricos Produtos Farmacêuticos. This case, on a reference from what the IPKat thinks is probably Portugal since the language of the case is Portuguese, asks just two short questions:
"Does the Court of Justice of the European Communities have jurisdiction to interpret Article 33 of the TRIPs Agreement?Article 33 of TRIPs reads as follows:
In the event of an affirmative answer to the first question, must national courts apply that Article, on their own initiative or at the request of a party, in proceedings pending before them?".
"Term of ProtectionThe IPKat's curiosity is stimulated by this. The provisions doesn't look like the sort of thing to give a judge a headache, so he suspects something sinister lurking beneath the surface. Indeed, echoes Merpel, it must be something quite Merck-y ...
The term of protection available [for a patent] shall not end before the expiration of a period of twenty years counted from the filing date".
Reminder: on Thursday 25 January, as previously noted on this blog (see A Tale of Three Thursdays, here), judgment is expected in Cases C-48/05 Adam Opel and C-321/03 Dyson.