The German Federal Constitutional Court issued a press release on 9 July 2021 regarding the challenge to Germany’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. After the second round of constitutional challenges, which we reported on here, the press release made clear the Court took a negative view of the challenges, rejecting them as inadmissible.
This means the second attempt by Germany to ratify the UPC Agreement can proceed, pending any further attempts to derail it. This is a major step towards the UPC opening its doors. This is because German ratification is one of the required steps that has been stymied by constitutional challenges for the last few years.
There are still hurdles that have to be overcome before the UPC can start to operate, however. The most significant of these could well be the requirement in the UPC Agreement, as we have reported, that one of the divisions of the Court is based in London even though the UK is no longer a participating country. A London-based Court is unlikely to be popular with the remaining participating countries, and how this is addressed will be a key point to watch in the coming months.
Whether any of the remaining steps still to be overcome prove insurmountable or send the UPC Agreement back to the drawing board remains to be seen. For the moment though, the UPC looks to be back on track.