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April 02, 2020

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German Constitutional Court Partly Slows Down The Unified Patent Court Agreement Process

On Friday 20 March 2020, the German Federal Constitutional Court announced its decision in the complaint against the German implementation of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). The outcome of the decision is a clear yes-and-no!

The complaint is upheld partly. First, the UPCA as a law assigning sovereign rights to a supranational institution should have been passed in German parliament with a two thirds-majority, instead of a simple majority. For this reason, Germany’s passing of the bill is void.

Second, the court dismissed the complaint partly as being inadmissible regarding the allegation of a violation of fundamental democratic rights and of the principle of separation of powers. The appeal is further inadmissible in so far as it concerns the fixing of a ceiling on reimbursement as defined in the UPCA.

These are good news for friends of the UPCA. The German government may present the bill again to the parliament and if it is passed with a two-thirds-majority, Germany will be able to ratify the UPCA soon.

As all other claims have been dismissed, the UPCA is in a stronger position that before, especially in view of further attacks.

Copyright 2020 K & L Gates

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About this Author

Christiane Schweizer, Patent Attorney, IP, Berlin, Munich, Germany, Patent Prosecution
European Patent Attorney

Christiane Schweizer is counsel in the firm’s Berlin office. She has been active in the area of intellectual property since 2006. She focuses on patent prosecution, opposition and appeal proceedings, patent invalidation, and patent litigation. She also provides patentability, validity, freedom-to-operate, and infringement opinions and is involved in nullity and infringement proceedings. Ms. Schweizer assists international companies with global patent prosecution strategies and portfolio developments. She is particularly experienced in creating and defending Supplementary...

+49.(0)30.220.029.438
Of Counsel

Benjamin Fechner is a European patent attorney and a German patent attorney (Patentanwalt) with more than 20 years of experience in the field of patent prosecution, opposition and appeal proceedings, patent invalidation, and patent infringement litigation, patent portfolio creation, strategic counseling, and due diligence.

Benjamin holds a master degree in physics. He possesses vast technical knowledge in three main fields:

  • Software and hardware, including anything from semiconductor manufacturing, analog and digital circuits, microprocessors, to cryptography and artificial intelligence;

  • Communications technology, including wireline and wireless; and

  • Other field of technology such as medical devices and electro-mechanical devices.

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