Maiwald Blog

Execution of the law on the Agreement of the Unified Patent Court (UPCA) stopped again by the German Federal Constitutional Court

by Tobias Matschke

As announced by a court spokesperson of the Federal Constitutional Court on 13 January 2021, the Federal Constitutional Court has asked the Federal President of Germany to postpone the execution of the law on the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). This request was made against the background of two further constitutional complaints (2 BvR 2216/20 and 2 BvR 2217/20) that were filed against ratification of the UPCA at the end of 2020.

The German Bundestag had only recently approved the Federal Government's bill by a two-thirds majority on 26 November 2020, followed by the German Bundesrat's approval on 18 December 2020.

It remains to be seen what will happen next. Unless the constitutional complaints are rejected as being inadmissible or manifestly unfounded, the launch of the EU Unitary Patent could again be significantly delayed. The procedure is strongly reminiscent of 2017, when the Federal Constitutional Court similarly asked the Federal President for a corresponding postponement and the Act approving the UPCA was then declared null and void in 2020 due to violation of the required two-thirds majority.


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