Tag Archives: UPC Agreement

New Ratification of The UPCA by The Bundestag – What Is Next ?

The German National Assembly (Bundestag) has now adopted the law for ratifying the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) with the required majority. As a next step, the Bundesrat, the second chamber, has to approve the law. As the Bundesrat did not have any objections previously, it is likely that the law will pass with the required majority. The next session of the Bundesrat is planned for 18 December 2020, however the schedule of the session is not yet fixed. After the vote of the Bundesrat, the government and the president have formally to sign the law.

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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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Unitary Patent – Lithuania Completes Its Ratification Formalities

According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Lithuania has completed its ratification formalities on 24 August 2017. This is the 14th ratification following that of Estonia which joined the unitary patent system on 1 August 2017.

To be complete, the unitary patent system requires 13 ratifications, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. France is already part of the system since 14 March 2014. However, according to the Preparatory Committee, the United Kingdom and Germany still have some hurdles to overcome before the unitary patent system enters into force (you can see our previous posts on the situation in the UK and Germany)

Still, the Preparatory Committee is confident that the UPC will come into force around January 2018.

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UPDATE ON THE UK RATIFICATION OF THE UPC

The process of ratification of the UPC by the UK seems to be back on track, following the recent UK elections.

Orders on Privileges and Immunities for the Unified Patent Court were laid in Parliament under the International Organisations Act 1968 today (Click Here and Click Here). Separate legislation will be laid in the Scottish Parliament in due course. The Orders are affirmative orders, which means they will be debated in each House of Parliament. Separately the Scottish Order will be debated in the Scottish Parliament. They will also require Privy Council approval.

Once this legislation has been passed the UK will be able to formally ratify the UPC Agreement. This is the final legislative step in the UK’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court.

Alexander Ramsay, the preparatory committee Chairman also released an update (Link to Unified Patent Court Website) concerning the progress made by the UK and Estonia towards ratification of the UPC. The latest development in the UK is considered by the Committee as a “firm intent and commitment on the road to ratification” while Estonia is also taking the last steps towards formal ratification.

However, it should not be forgotten that three additional approvals of the PPA including Germany are still necessary in order for the provisional period to begin. The Chairman is hopeful the situation regarding the constitutional complaint in Germany will be resolved rather quickly and therefore [he is] hopeful that the period of provisional application can start during the autumn 2017 which would mean that the sunrise period for the opt out procedure would start early 2018 followed by the entry into force of the UPCA and the UPC becoming operational.”

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Service of written pleadings, orders, decisions and other documents before the UPC

An action according to Article 32(1) of the UPC Agreement is introduced when the plaintiff lodges a corresponding Statement or Application at the UPC Registry (Rule 4 RoP). Then, Chapter 2 of Part 5 of the Rules of Procedure (RoP) provides for a number of provisions related to the service by the Registry of all documents related to this action (Rule 6 RoP). This Chapter 2 (Rules 270-279 RoP) is subdivided in four sections.

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