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08.07.2020

VDMA and ZVEI call for rapid ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court

On 3 July 2020, VDMA and ZVEI called for a rapid ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) by Germany. The two associations represent two of Germany's leading industrial sectors, which are particularly innovation-driven and therefore dependent on a well-functioning patent system in the EU. Therefore, a rapid ratification would be advantageous for our members. As stated in our position, the Agreement will provide member companies with more legal certainty, a reduction in costs, increased competitiveness, a boost to economic growth after the outbreak of COVID-19, more research and development and a strengthening of EU industrial policy.

The UPC-Agreement now depends exclusively on ratification by Germany. As the most patent active EU Member State, Germany is required to ratify this Agreement. Without ratification, the EU unitary patent package, which consists of two EU regulations on the EU unitary patent and the UPC-Agreement, cannot be applied. In 2017, the German Bundestag adopted a corresponding ratifying law as a basis for a German ratification. However, in February 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court declared the ratifying law null and void because it had been passed unanimously but not by a majority of two-thirds of the members of the Bundestag. In June 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection presented a new proposal for a relevant ratifying law.

In their joint position, VDMA and ZVEI call on the Ministry and the legislator to bring the legislative procedure and ratification to a rapid conclusion so that the EU unitary patent package can finally be applied.

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