Tag Archives: UPC Agreement

The current state of play towards the set up of the 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).

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Further step in ratification of UPC by Germany

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.

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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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