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German court rejects latest UPC complaints

The Federal Constitutional Court says the complaints are inadmissible, potentially paving the way for the project to move forward

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court rejected two complaints against the country’s Unified Patent Court legislation today, July 9.

In a statement, the FCC said two applications for a preliminary injunction against the UPC Agreement were inadmissible and “failed to sufficiently assert and substantiate a possible violation of their [the complainants’] fundamental rights”.

The court has not revealed the names of the complainants, but Ingve Stjerna, the German attorney who filed the first constitutional complaint against the UPC in 2017 – and which the FCC partially allowed in 2020 – confirmed at the end of last year that he submitted one of the cases.

According to the FCC, the complainant in one of the cases asserted that the proposed UPC violated the right to democratic self-determination under the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

The complaint also alleged that the principle of the rule of law, the fundamental right to effective legal protection and EU law had been violated, and that the UPC Agreement amounted to an impermissible encroachment on German constitutional identity.

However, the FCC said the complaint did not sufficiently substantiate the possibility that ratifying the UPC framework could result in violation of these principles.

In the second complaint, directed against the precedence of EU law, the FCC said the complaint was not sufficiently substantiated.

The FCC said the complaint merely rested on the sole argument that Article 20 of the UPC Agreement is contrary to Article 79(3) of the Basic Law, adding. “This does not satisfy the procedural requirement that submissions be sufficiently substantiated.”

This is the second time the court has had to assess challenges against the proposed UPC.

In March 2020, a long-awaited FCC ruling declared that Germany’s act approving the UPCA had not been signed off by a required two-thirds majority in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament. However, at the end of November 2020, the Bundestag approved the act with the necessary qualified majority.

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