Intellectual property – notice

References to the Court of Justice of the European Union

We provide advice to Ministers, who decide whether the UK should submit observations and intervene in Court of Justice (CJ) cases concerning IP.


The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) publishes information on cases that comes to its attention concerning intellectual property matters. We publish the specific questions that the CJ is being asked to answer and brief details, such as the parties to the case and relevant legislation.

Why we alert our stakeholders on Court of Justice cases

EU Member States are invited to make observations on CJ cases. For cases concerning intellectual property, the IPO provides advice to Ministers, who decide whether the UK should submit observations and intervene in CJ cases.

If you wish to express your views on CJ cases you can e-mail us. We also provide a CJ e-mail alert service, which provides an e-mail notification to subscribers when a new case is posted on our website. If you no longer wish to receive CJ notification e-mails please send us an e-mail titled unsubscribe CJ to

How to use the CJ case table

The case table includes preliminary rulings where national courts submit questions concerning the interpretation or validity of a provision of Union law for intellectual property cases, and Appeals against Judgments from the General Court. We include the following information in the table:

  • deadline by which the CJ requires any observations on preliminary rulings or interventions for appeals from the General Court
  • provides links to an opinion or a judgment when delivered
  • whether a case has been stayed, this can occur at any stage

In the case table you can find the questions referred to the Courts in the first column. For cases under appeal from the General Court, there is a link to the General Court judgment.

In addition, the IPO (on occasion) receives notification of cases concerning intellectual property, which are heard by other European courts (for example, the European Free Trade Association Court). In this instance, consultations and publication of these cases will be completed here.

When we update our website

We aim to publish information on new CJ cases as soon as we receive them. Although our target is a maximum of two days we often publish them within 24 hours. As soon as the website is updated we issue emails via our CJ alert service to those that have subscribed to this service.

Details of pre 2012 cases are available from The National Archives.

Deadlines and how we calculate them

We face tight time limits in which to consider and provide advice on CJ cases. EU Member States have two months after receiving notification from the CJ in which to make written observations. The two months includes the time to prepare the submission to the CJ, which takes a minimum of five weeks. The deadline given takes the above factors into account and is set accordingly.

In practice, this usually gives us less than two weeks in which to consider the case and any comments before we provide advice to our Minister.

How to provide useful comments

If you wish to express your views on a CJ case you should email us at We understand how difficult it is to provide detailed comments in the time available. Should you wish to submit a comment all we need is a short email, received before the deadline, saying

  • whether you think the UK should intervene and; general points about how you think the questions should be answered and why
  • you are welcome to follow this email up with more detailed comments after the deadline, which can be taken into consideration if we have chosen to submit observations or if we attend a hearing

Please be aware that failure to meet the deadline means that we may be unable to take your interest in the reference into account when deciding whether or not to intervene.

For CJ references that you are aware of, that are not included on this site, you are also welcome to express your views by email to To help us identify the case in question please include clear information about the case.

Discussion of the content of UK observations

We carefully consider all comments provided to us but, in the interests of fairness, do not discuss the content of UK observations with individual stakeholders.