27. November 2020
"Despite all external concerns – Bundestag approves new attempt to ratify the UPC Agreement by Germany!"
On Thursday evening, November 26, 2020, the Bundestag (German Parliament) approved the "Agreement on the UPC" in a roll-call vote with the required 2/3 majority. For completion of the awaited re-start of the German ratification of the UPC Agreement, the next steps are the approval of the Bundesrat (assembly of the Federal States) and the signature of the Bundespräsident (German President).
Although the next steps seem likely to occur in the new future, it has to awaited whether the expected further constitutional complaints will be admitted by the German Constitutional Court. In case one of these (possible) complaints is admitted, it will, at least, be a further substantial delay the start of the Unified Patent Court.
A further problem occurred from the fact that meanwhile UK is now no longer a member of the EU. Hence, the London Division is now a "spare" division of the UPC for which Italy, France and the Netherlands have expressed interest in hosting. However, in order to move the London Division, legal experts believe that all States must amend Article 7 of the Convention and then ratify it again in its amended form. Since the draft legislation does not take this aspect into account, many experts still consider the UPC Agreement to be open to attack.
The German Ministry of Justice confirmed that this issue will be addressed at a later stage. We wonder when and how?