The Unified Patent Court Agreement will enter into a provisional preparatory stage once 13 signatory states of the Agreement including Germany, France and the United Kingdom and having ratified said Agreement have ratified or expressed their consent to be bound by the Protocol on Provisional Application (A.3(1) of the Protocol).
The publication of the law in the Federal Law Gazette finally puts an end to the legal complications that have been blocking the german ratification process and, consequently, the establishment of the Unified Patent Court (UPC).
But this does not mean that the UPC can finally start to operate.
By order of June 23, 2021, the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) rejected two applications for preliminary injunction against the Act of Approval that was adopted on December 18, 2020, for the purposes of ratifying the Agreement of 19 February 2013 on a Unified Patent Court (UPC Act of Approval).
This decision was highly expected because the process of ratification of the UPC Act of Approval and thus, the establishment of the UPC has been delayed until the ruling of the Court.
Although the German Parliament (« Bundesrat ») recently voted in favor of the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) (that we reported here), and despite the political will (see there), the German ratification of the UPCA is again put on hold.
The German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) advised that that two new constitutional complaints were filed on the very same day on which the Bundesrat approved the ratification (18th December 2020).
One of the complaint, filed by Düsseldorf lawyer Ingve Stjerna, who already filed an earlier constitutional complaint in 2017, aims at obtaining an interim order to cease the ratification process until a decision on the merits.
As expected, the second chamber of the German Parliament (« Bundesrat ») has just voted today in favor of the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement and of the Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (click here)
The vote was unanimous and the next step is now a formal signature of the Law by the German President.
Before the law is signed, we will monitor whether another appeal is filed before the Federal Constitutional Court, as it is expected from entities opposed to this agreement, in particular in the field of free software.
We will keep you promptly informed of the next developments and more generally in relation to the pending questions of the relocation of the London section of the UPC and the third Member State required to ratify the UPC Agreement in place of the UK.