The Unified Patent Court (UPC) reminds me of a soap opera story line where you are always wondering if two particular characters will ever get together – there are usually a few near misses and a couple of badly-timed interruptions by others. The same is true of the UPC. It felt like UPC implementation was on the horizon a few years ago, and then it was rudely interrupted by both Brexit and German constitutional challenges.
The latest episode in the UPC saga has seen the German constitutional challenges rejected, leaving Germany free to ratify the agreement at last. Whilst this one major hurdle has been overcome, it is most certainly not the end of the story. Brexit is still causing uncertainty in terms of where the previously London-based Central Division will instead be situated (Italy and Germany appear to have rather differing views on this issue). In addition, two further countries are required to ratify the Protocol on Provisional Application before the UPC can move forward.
The will-they-or-won’t-they story continues: will the UPC’s sunrise period ever arrive, or will we be left living in a perpetual night of non-unitary European patents? Stay tuned to find out!
Yet another step has been made towards the entry into operation of the Unified Patent Court, with today’s rejection by the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) of the two applications for preliminary injunction against the ratification Bill of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.