Germany delays implementation of the European Unitary Patent
Germany’s constitutional court, the Verfassungsgericht, has stopped the Federal President from signing the domestic legislation to ratify and implement the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unified Patent (UP). The legislation is required to adapt the German Patent Act and enable European wide patents to be introduced. The German quality newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that an unnamed individual has filed an objection to the legislation and that the German President, Frank-Walther Steinmeier has agreed to delay his signature until a ruling is made by the court.
Germany is one of the three countries that needs to ratify the legislation before the UPC comes into effect. France has already ratified the legislation and the United Kingdom’s ratification has been delayed by the snap general election. The investigation by the German court is likely to delay implementation by several months and could, at least potentially, stop the agreement in its tracks if the German court decides that the legislation is unconstitutional.
The original aim of the UPC was to establish a single European patent court covering 25 countries and provide a more efficient, cost-effective and streamlined patent process. The UP is a single patent granted centrally, by the European Patent Office, and would be effective in all EU member states that have signed up to the UPC Agreement.