24 March 2020

European unified patent into question?

The German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht of BVerfG) announced today in a game-changing verdict, that the approval act of the European Unified Patent Court (a.k.a. UPC or Europäisch Einheitliches Patentgericht) is void. This approval act was the basis for ratifying the UPC by the German federal government. At this time, it is not clear whether this event will only lead to a delay or perhaps even cancellation of the UPC, because ratification by Germany is a significant requirement.

To summarise, the German Constitutional Court states that by approving the UPC extensive powers will be transferred to a non-German court. According to the German Constitutional Court this requires a two-third majority in the central parliament (Bundestag). This two-third majority for approval of the act was not achieved and therefore the act is void.

Since this act is declared invalid from the very start, the implementation of the European Unified Patent and the related UPC seems to be slipping away rather than nearing completion. Now we have to wait and see how the German government is going to solve this problem.