NEWSFLASH: German Constitutional Court declares German Unified Patent Court (UPC) Act as invalid

The German Federal Constitutional Court has upheld the constitutional complaint filed against the German UPC legislation. But it has at the same time pointed the way to a future ratification. The German Federal Constitutional Court ruled today that the “Act of Approval to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court” needed a two-thirds majority by the Bundestag since it would have entailed an amendment of the German Constitution in substantive terms.

In short terms: The Court criticized a formality: When the Act was passed with an insufficient quorum.

One might assume that this formality might be remedies quite easily and swiftly, but in times of COVID-19 measures any such action might be delayed substantially as other tasks are on the agenda (for good reason). As long as this Act is not passed under the required two-thirds majority, Germany will not ratify the UPC Agreement.

The UPC is a material piece to harmonisation if the patent laws in the EUO. Currently, patent holders have to seek remedies nationally and cross-border measures are only available at a limited scope.

We will keep you posted in the latest developments.

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Text of Decision: 2 BvR 739/17

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