Wednesday, 14 June 2017

New delay for unitary patent

The start of the unitary patent system has a few further setbacks: one less surprising (the United Kingdom), one more surprising (Germany).

Up to now, the goal was to have the system up and running by December this year. That date relied on the timely ratification of the required states. In particular, the United Kingdom ought to have ratified the agreement last May. As that did not happen, the start date of the unitary patent system has also been delayed. The unified patent court has published an update to their timeline, confirming that December 2017 will not be met.

Apart from the ratification of the UK which is not forthcoming, another ratification problem is caused by the Protocol on Provisional Application. This lesser known protocol arranges the starting-up period of the court. Up to now, there are only 11 signatures which is not enough. Interestingly, the United Kingdom has signed the protocol, so no problems there.

The unified patent court has not yet set a new date.

The other setback comes from Germany. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Germany's constitutional court) has asked the President not to ratify the UPC agreement yet (here is the German article, an English source is here). Someone has brought a constitutional complaint which needs to be settled before ratifying. Kluwer has interesting speculations, that the problem could be more substantial than just the unified patent court. I haven't found confirmation at the website of the Bundesverfassungsgericht yet.

Photo by slon_dot_pics (slon.piccs) via Pixabay under a CC0 license.

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