About the Mobile World Congress Protocol on conflicts of interest


By Jean-Yves Teindas y Cristina Olesti

On Monday, February 27, the most important global tech event in the world for promoting international collaboration in wireless mobile communications started: the Mobile World Congress (“MWC”). As with every year, the MWC will bring together the sector’s main companies and professionals who will present the latest developments in wireless and mobile communications. Given the importance of protecting their intangible assets, it is not surprising that these companies put in the effort and resources necessary to legally defend their innovative inventions and designs.

Given this scenario, since 2015, the commercial courts of Barcelona have established a special protocol to (i) meet the needs of this leading worldwide mobile telephone event, and (ii) quickly and efficiently resolve any possible conflicts of interest arising between the companies attending the event in relation to the protection of their intellectual and industrial property rights.

The protocol has three well-defined objectives: (i) processing with priority any urgent measures regarding rights protected by intellectual and industrial property, (ii) resolving in a maximum of 48 hours all requests for precautionary measures, and (iii) offering the possibility to submit documents of a preventive nature in which one party requests urgent precautionary measures without the other party being aware of this (ex parte).

So far, in the current MWC event, this initiative has led to the submission of 12 preventive documents, as well as to the handling by the commercial courts of Barcelona of three precautionary measures relating to patent infringement.

To be precise, two urgent precautionary measures prohibiting a mobile manufacturer attending the MWC from "offering, marketing or carrying out any other act relating to mobile telephones, tablets and phablets, which infringe the European patent referred to in the measures.” These precautionary measures also led to several mobile devices being seized.

A third precautionary measure upheld by Commercial Court No. 5 of Barcelona has led to several mobile telephones of another exhibitor being seized to analyze the possible infringement of the patent referred to in the measure.

Based on the above, the protocol of the commercial courts of Barcelona has gained ground in this year’s MWC and seems to be a good measure to protect rights’ holders in an event as important as MWC.

We will continue to provide updates on the MWC and any developments in this area on our blog.