UK Ratification Removes Key Obstacle for Unified Patent Court, but German Lawyer’s Challenge Delays Effective Date

May 11, 2018

Europe’s Unified Patent Court (UPC) cleared one of its last remaining hurdles on April 26 with the UK’s ratification of the treaty establishing the court’s creation, the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). However, while 16 countries have now ratified the UPCA (beyond the required 13), for the UPC to come into effect, the agreement must also be ratified by the three countries that had the greatest number of European patents in effect in 2012: the UK, France, and Germany. While France was one of the first to ratify, in March 2014, the ratification process in Germany remains delayed by a constitutional complaint brought earlier this year by a Dusseldorf-based IP attorney, Dr. Ingve Stjerna, challenging the German legislation needed to implement and ratify the UPC.

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