Jeremy Phillips’ and Ilanah Simon’s IPKAT intellectual property weblog is very active and up-to-date, and regularly complains about the time it takes to get translations into English of European Court of Justice decisions and Advocate General’s opinions, as again on December 14th:
bq. The Court of First Instance gave judgment yesterday in Case T-8/03 El Corte Inglés v OHIM – Pucci (EMILIO PUCCI). It is available in a number of languages including Latvian, Lithuanian and Slovak — but not English.
I don’t know who reads these rants of those who might do something about it, but here’s some evidence that these translations are really awaited.
bq. The IPKat wonders why the European Commission spends his hard-earned money on a variety of causes all over the world, but won’t provide enough cash for immediate translation of cases involving EU law into the world’s most widely-used language in intellectual property circles. Who, he wants to know, is the person responsible for the translation of ECJ and CFI cases? What is the basis of current translation policy? Does it have any official sanction? How are English-speaking lawyers expected to compete in the provision of legal advice, with lawyers from France, Germany and other countries in the lucrative market for intellectual property services when the others can rely on official texts and translations but English-speakers must make to with unofficial translations? Why is this state of affairs being allowed to continue? How much would it cost to provide timely translation of ECJ and CFI decisions in all main EU languages? What is the Department of Trade and Industry in the UK doing about it? Why is no-one else shouting?
I have read that the translation service costs an EU citizen an average of one cappuccino a year, but whether that includes the ECJ translations I don’t know – perhaps one should add a piece of carrot cake.