The German Constitutional Court upholds complaint against the UPC Agreement implementing act
The German Federal Constitutional Court has published its long-awaited decision on Friday (20/03/20). In this announcement, the constitutional complaint against the legislation required for Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement was upheld.
According to the Court , the German act by which it was to pass to the UPC, violates the Germans populace democratic rights under Article 38 Basic Law, because it was not passed with the parliamentary majority required.
Article 1 of the UPC Agreement provides that “ A Unified Patent Court for the settlement of disputes relating to European patents and European patents with unitary effect is hereby established. According to the German constitutional court, this constitutes a transfer of adjudication authorities, which implicates the constitutional rights of the German populace. Such a transfer of authority requires, according to German law, a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag.
The Hungarian constitution has also raised a similar issue and decreed that it would be unconstitutional to allow jurisdiction for resolving private legal disputes to transfer from Hungary's courts to an international institution ,the UPC, that is not established within the boundaries of the EU's founding treaties. Thus Hungary has joined the likes of Spain and Poland in refusing to sign the agreement.
As stated above, the German court upheld the constitutional complaint due to the ratification of the UPC agreement not passing through the required parliamentary majority.
William Hoyng, member of the drafting committee of the UPC’s rules of procedure stated:
“ Today's decision will set back the UPC project at least five years. Also in lights of Brexit, it will require participating states to renegotiate the UPC Agreement. That is unfortunate, but it also provides us with opportunities. For instance, it would allow filling in gaps or deciding on problems encountered by the Drafting Committee. We can also try to draft a text that would make it possible for European Economic Area countries and perhaps even other countries to join.
It is not the complete end for the UPC, with the compliant upheld so far as it concerned a formal voting requirement. However given the current crisis occurring with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not likely that this is high on the political priority list.
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