Tuesday 13 July 2021

Unified Patent Court agreement not contrary to German constitution

The Unified Patent Court, which will bring much-needed consistency to patent litigation in Europe (but which the UK will do without), has already faced problems in Germany once: back in March 2017 it was approved by the Bundestag but not by the right majority, so the decision was declared void. Then the UK dropped out (initially after the referendum the UK government, in an excess of "cakeism", announced that it would still participate although no-one could quite see how that would work, but then someone noticed that the Court of Justice had a role to play in the new system and it suddenly became an impossibly hot potato), which threw the entire project into doubt. But now the Bundesverfassungsgericht (federal constitutional court) has rejected two claims that the UPC Agreement violated fundamental rights under the Constitution and the way seems clear for the Bundestag to approve it again (by they correct majority this time).

As this is not a blog about German constitutional law, and one of the many things that I am not is a German constitutional lawyer, I won't try to explain the details. The court has very helpfully put out a press release in English (here). It's got at least one split infinitive in it, but apart from that the English is excellent: if you prefer, the German version is easy to find from that same link but that's all the language versions there are to choose from.

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