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Unified Patent Court: German Constitutional Court upholds challenge

Posted on 20 March 2020

The German Federal Constitutional Court has today upheld (by a majority of 5:3) the challenge against the decision ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement, on the basis that the German Parliament did not vote with the required 2/3 majority. Such a majority was required for the integrity of the German constitution and the democratic legitimation of certain identified interferences with the constitutional order. 

Whilst it is understood that the German Parliament could be asked to pass the vote with the requisite majority, this will at the very least import further significant delay into the process and may mean that the UPC/Unitary Patent will ultimately be abandoned, not least given the implications of the UK deciding to no longer proceed with its involvement (discussed in our earlier article). 

The UPC Preparatory Committee has issued a press release acknowledging the decision and that it will result in further delay, but it states that preparatory work will continue whilst the judgment and the way forward is analysed (in the context, of course, of the ongoing difficulties presented by COVID-19).

We will continue to report on developments. 

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