Tag Archives: Germany

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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German Federal Constitutional Court upholds the constitutional complaint regarding the UPC for lack of qualified majority vote: is there still a chance for the UPC?

In its order released on 20 March 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) holds the act of approval to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPC”) void due in particular to the lack of a qualified majority vote. While this decision delays the ratification of the UPC Agreement by Germany even further, the future of the UPC seems more than ever uncertain. However, in upholding the constitutional complaint on this ground, a future ratification of the UPC Agreement by Germany still remains possible.

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The decision on the constitution complaint directed against the Act of Approval to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court is announced to be published on 20 March 2020

While the constitutional complaint against the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”) filed in April 2017 with the German Federal Constitutional Court (“FCC”) was put on the case list to be heard in 2018 and in 2019, the FCC has announced that the decision will be released on 20 March 2020.

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