The Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application (the PAP-Protocol) was initially signed on 1st October 2015 to establish a Phase of Provisional Application (PAP) to ensure « a smooth transition into the operational phase and ensure the proper functioning of the Unified Patent Court before the entry into force of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court ».
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).
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.
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.