Tag Archives: Germany

How to select the European Patent with the unitary effect (Unitary Patent)

Unitary Patent a unique protection for 17 states in Europe

With the recent ratification of Austria, the European Patent with unitary effect (“Unitary Patent”) will be introduced soon.

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The German Federal Government officially ratified the UPC Act of Approval on August 13th.

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.

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German Federal Constitutionnal Court’s decision

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.

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Again, and again: the UPC agreement is further challenged in Germany

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.

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Political will in Germany for the UPC Agreement to be submitted to a new vote as soon as possible

While the Federal Constitutional Court of 20 March 2020 ruled in Germany that the act of consent to the UPC Agreement is not constitutional and therefore void, a press release of 26 March 2020 from the German Federal Minister of Justice clarified the current political will in Germany.

In a clear statement, the Federal government confirmed that it keeps on upholding the project of a single European patent system with a European patent Court.

The Federal Government is committed in examining the possibilities to remedy the lack of form of the act of consent to the UPC Agreement, as found by the Federal Constitutional Court.

According to the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court, a constitutional majority in the Bundestag would have been required for the vote of act of consent to the UPC Agreement, since it implies a transfer of rights to an international institution and thus leads to a change in constitution.

The Federal Minister of Justice suggested that this should be made during the current legislative period that is due to end in 2021, if possible.

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