The long-awaited implementation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has come into a halt – again. After the Bundestag (the German parliament) and Bundesrat (the “upper house”) had consented to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) in mid-December 2020 (see our previous post here), two constitutional complaints were filed with the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) shortly after. As a result, the FCC asked the Federal President not to sign the ratification bill into law, to which the president agreed.
One of the complaints was filed by the same complainant who filed successfully the first constitutional complaint back in 2017 i.a. on the grounds that the required two-thirds majority had not been achieved in the parliamentary vote. The identity of the second complainant remains unknown.
When is the FCC expected to decide on the two constitutional complaints? They do not appear on the list of matters the FCC intends to hear in 2021 (FCC annual preview). This means that the UPC may be formally set up in 2022 at the earliest. Read Thorsten Bausch’s opinion on this topic in the Kluwer Blog.