On 7 June 2017, the UPC Preparatory Committee announced that the timetable for the start of the UPC Agreement provisional application period, which was envisaged for 1 December 2017, would finally not be met, in light of the temporary block due to Germany's Constitutional Court's most recent request.
Last week, the Constitutional Court asked the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to not formally sign the implementing legislation of the Unitary Patent Package while it considers the legal challenge that has been lodged. Without Germany's ratification the UPC cannot come into force.
The Court received a complaint filed by an unnamed private person which raised a legal challenge against national legislation that would endorse the new framework. In order for the new UPC system to come into force, the UPC Agreement must be ratified by 13 member states, which include France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The UPC Agreement has currently been fully ratified in 12 participating EU countries, and in total, 26 EU countries have pledged to do so. Albeit the Brexit referendum, the UK Government has since committed to ratification.
Should the Constitutional Court find the legislation implementing the UPC Agreement unconstitutional, the introduction of the UPC in its current form could potentially be blocked. The UPC Preparatory Committee has not provided a new target date, but has committed to publishing a new timetable as soon as possible.
Written by: The UAIPIT Team