News / 2020

Unified Patent Court — a future that dissolves into a pipe dream?

The patent protection system of the EU, with a Unified Patent Court (UPC) in the center, is an ambitious project, a realization of which has been impeded for a long time by various obstacles.

Works in that area have been carried out for more than forty years already and although an agreement on the establishment of the Court was signed on February 19, 2013 by 25 Member States of the EU, the solutions that the contracting parties agreed upon, are still waiting to be put in the practice. In the last weeks, two major developments occurred in this long-running series about the unitary patent protection system in the EU: firstly, on February 28 the United Kingdom withdrew from its previous declarations that despite moving forward with the Brexit procedure, it would seek a participation in the unitary system. Moreover, on March 20 (last Friday) the German Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) announced its decision in the case regarding the constitutional complaint questioning the validity of German legislation implementing the UPC system that had been lodged in 2017. The prospect of launching the system seems now even more distant: BVerfG declared that an act wherein Germany consents to be bound by the treaty on UPC is void.

In this issue of the WTS Legal Report we would like to present you the key premises of the proposed unitary patent system in the EU and recap the latest events that are going to shape the future of this project.

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