June 14, 2017

Germany: ratification of the UPC Agreement on hold

In two past days the wave of breaking reports struck the IP news websites. The Office of the President of Germany agreed for the request by the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) not to proceed with ratification of the laws for entry into force of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement which had already been passed by the German parliament.

The delay is claimed to be caused by a constitutional complaint filed with the Constitutional Court by a private person. The complaint states that the UPC provisions contradict German IP legislation and, hence, cannot be ratified and implemented in Germany. The Court, however, has not yet issued its final decision either prohibiting further proceedings with the UPC Agreement or, on the contrary, giving “green light”. The date when such decision is going to be issued has not been specified either.

After such breaking news it remains unclear whether the Unitary Patent system is going to be implemented at all. There is an obligatory requirement for the UPCA to be ratified by the three contracting parties including the UK, Germany and France. Since France ratified the Agreement in 2014, the UK’s decision on Brexit became the first serious obstacle on the way to the Unitary Patent system. However, the United Kingdom expressed its willingness to proceed and ratify the UPC. Currently, putting ratification by Germany on hold brings new risks.

IP-Coster is closely watching further developments as to the matter, and we will keep you informed as soon as any additional details become available. 

Author: Lynda Miller