Act of Approval to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court is void

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is intended to be become a new part of the judicial system of those member states that have ratified the UPC agreement, and to have exclusive competence in respect of European patents and European patents with unitary effect (but not national patents). The UPC’s rulings will have effect in the territory of each contracting member state.

However, the entry into force of the new court system has been stalled by a constitutional complaint following Germany’s ratification of the agreement. Today, The Federal Constitutional Court in Germany published its decision on the constitutional complaint.

The Act of Approval to the Unified Patent Court Agreement to confer sovereign powers on the Unified Patent Court is declared void, since it has not been approved by the Bundestag with the required two-thirds majority. The decision did not question the substance of the ratification but only the formal deficiency due to the majority rules.

It is thus left to be seen if this decision will be a mere delay of the new court system, with the deficiency cured by a new constitutional ratification, or if it ultimately leads to the UPC failing to enter into force.

Find a summary of the decision here.

Emil Ekdahl Norling