Last October the Valencia Appeal Court confirmed a decision of Valencia Criminal Court No 12 to sentence a certain Mr MLM, the sole administrator of a company identified as PT, for criminal patent infringement under Article 273 of the Criminal Code (patent infringement). MLM was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, a 12-month penalty payment of €10 a day and payment of the damages and legal costs incurred. The offence was the knowing importation of two batches of products that infringed the patents of an Italian company, Sisvel.
The prosecution, which followed a Customs seizure, indicates that, while the public authorities in many countries are often reluctant to utilise public resources in order to enforce private rights, the Spanish authorities have shown themselves to be decisive in not only securing conviction but resisting the appeal.
Source: "Criminal court convicts for import of patent-infringing products", by Leticia Lloret (Grau & Angulo), International Law Office