Making Community Law

Making Community Law

The Legacy of Advocate General Jacobs at the European Court of Justice

Edited by Philip Moser and Katrine Sawyer

The inspirational ideas of Advocate General Francis Jacobs have been drawn together here for the first time in one volume. Fifteen leading EU law practitioners and academics have contributed, including both Sir Francis’s predecessor and his successor, covering topics of current discussion in this continually evolving field. Each contributor deals with a discrete topic of EU law and discusses its evolution to date, its current state and its future development, always with specific reference to Sir Francis’s opinions.

Chapter 9: Intellectual Property

Christopher Morcom

Subjects: law - academic, european law


Christopher Morcom* INTRODUCTION At the UKAEL Conference in Honour of Sir Francis Jacobs held on 30 June 2006, a number of distinguished speakers paid tribute to his outstanding contribution over his 18 years as Advocate General to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), in different areas of the law. Although there was mention of his Opinions in some Intellectual Property cases, this area of his work did not receive the attention which it deserves. However, no account of his role as Advocate General could ever be complete without reference to his contribution to the law of Intellectual Property. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW IN THE EU For reasons which are perfectly understandable, there have been very few patent and design cases before the Court. There is still no Community Patent system and there is no harmonised patent law in the EU; such developments in the area of designs1 have been quite recent, only becoming effective during 2002–3. Although there has been some harmonisation in the field of copyright law, this is far from being comprehensive, being confined to a few directives dealing with specific topics, and there have been comparatively few cases before the Court involving copyright issues; Sir Francis has been involved with some of them. Another area in which he has had some involvement is that of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications, which are now covered by EU legislation2 and can be said to have some overlap with trade mark law. In the Intellectual Property field...

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