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New constitutional complaints against German UPC legislation and summary of the ratification process in Germany

13. Januar 2021

The German legal media JUVE has announced that the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has received two new constitutional complaints (Case ID: 2 BvR 2216/20 and 2 BvR 2217/20) against the draft legislation enabling Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement and its Protocol on Provisional Application1).

 

The law approving the UPC Agreement was approved by the German federal council (Bundesrat) on 18 December 2020 and was awaiting the certification (signature) by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany in order to enter into force.

 

The identity of the complainants as well as the grounds for the constitutional complaints are currently unknown.

 

Further, it is not yet clear whether the constitutional complaints are admissible and whether Federal Constitutional Court will ask the President to halt the certifying process, as was the case with the previous constitutional complaint of 20172).

 

The ratification process of the UPC Agreement in Germany until now can be summarized as follows:

 

March 2017: German parliament (Bundestag) passes the German UPC legislation3).

March 2017: First constitutional complaint is raised4).

June 2017: German federal council (Bundesrat) approved the German UPC legislation5).

June 2017: Federal Constitutional Court asks the President to halt the certifying process2).

March 2020: Federal Constitutional Court decides that the German UPC legislation is void, since it has not been approved by the German parliament (Bundestag) with the required two-thirds majority although it amends the Constitution in substantive terms6).

November 2020: German parliament (Bundestag) passes the German UPC legislation with the required two-thirds majority7).

December 2020: German federal council (Bundesrat) approved the German UPC legislation8).

December 2020: Second Constitutional complaints are raised1). ← Now

(Prediction) XX 2021: Federal Constitutional Court asks the President to halt the certifying process?

(Prediction) XX 2023: Federal Constitutional Court decides that the German UPC legislation is void, since the unrestricted primacy of European law as stipulated in Article 20 of the UPC Agreement violates the German basic law9)?

(Prediction) XX 2023: Germany gives us to ratify the UPC Agreement?

 

 

Sources:

1) https://www.juve-patent.com/news-and-stories/legal-commentary/breaking-german-upc-legislation-challenged-again-by-constitutional-complaints/

2) https://www.lto.de/recht/nachrichten/n/bverfg-stoppt-eu-einheits-patent-verfassungsbeschwerde/

3) https://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2018/kw11-de-patenrechtsreform-546352

4)https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Entscheidungen/EN/2020/02/rs20200213_2bvr073917en.html;jsessionid=5D7FB553AE990E7FCA8FE8E9B5432970.1_cid377

5) http://www.bundesrat.de/SharedDocs/drucksachen/2017/0301-0400/372-17(B).pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1

6)https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/EN/2020/bvg20-020.html

7) https://www.bundestag.de/parlament/plenum/abstimmung/abstimmung?id=702

8) https://www.bundesrat.de/DE/plenum/bundesrat-kompakt/20/998/10.html#top-10

9) https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/peter-huber-im-gespraech-das-ezb-urteil-war-zwingend-16766682.html

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