Despite successfully passing by the two German chambers, Bundestag and Bundesrat, the planned EU Unified Patent Court is again back on “on-hold” before the German Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG).
It looked like it was finally done: on November 26, 2020, the German Bundestag had passed the ratification law on the Unified Patent Court for the second time – and now correctly with the required two-thirds majority. Only a few days later, the second chamber, the Bundesrat, had also waved the law through. This seemed to clear the way for the start of the Unified Patent Court. However, unsurprisingly, two appeals have now been filed with the Federal Constitutional Court.
As a reminder: as we reported on March 20, 2020, the BVerfG had declared the German law approving the UPC and the EU unitary patent null and void due to the lack of the required two-thirds majority. This problem had been solved by the German Bundestag and Bundesrat shortly before the turn of the year, and it seemed that entry into force would only be a formality in the form of the signature of the Federal President.
Now, at the beginning of the year, the BVerfG has again received two constitutional complaints directed against the law on the Agreement of February 19, 2013 on a Unified Patent Court, as a press spokesman of the BVerfG confirmed to LTO (Ref. 2 BvR 2216/20 and 2 BvR 2217/20). Next, it remains to be seen whether the BVerfG will accept the complaints or not. If it does not accept the appeals, the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent can be launched in 2021 and is expected to begin operations in 2022. However, if any one of the appeals will be accepted by the court, we can again expect longer delays.
So even without the UK, it’s just a case of wait and see… we’ll stay tuned.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Jürgen Feldmeier, LL.M., Prüfer & Partner (E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)