The long-awaited Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system in Europe has been dealt a blow today with the decision of the German Constitutional Court that the ratification process in Germany was unconstitutional. Ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement by Germany was the last step in the system potentially coming into effect. The ratification process in Germany was not the only stumbling block though. The departure of the UK from the European Union and the UK government’s recent unofficial indication of non-participation in the UPC meant that some amendments would have been necessary anyway to the UPC itself also before it could actually come into force.
Obviously, this is a sad day for all those who have invested so much time and energy in developing the UPC project. The immediate issue seems to have been the relevant vote in the German parliament on the ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. Whether there is an appetite to revisit this issue in the current circumstances remains to be seen.
For the time being therefore, this might seem to be the end of the UPC project but we will need to see how the European Commission and other interested parties react before reaching any final conclusions. This could still be just another set-back in a very convoluted process.
If you would like to ask Nick any questions about the decision, you can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.