German parliament again speaks out in favor of EU unitary patent

Despite much criticism from the outside, the Bundestag (German parliament) passed the bill for the EU Patent Court again in the second attempt with the necessary two-thirds majority. In 2017, the parliament had already approved the draft without any dissenting votes. At that time, however, only 38 of over 630 elected representatives were present at the decision. In March, the Federal Constitutional Court thus declared the law void following an appeal by a patent attorney due to this formal error.

By passing this law, the Bundestag approves the agreement for an EU Patent Court for the planned EU Unitary Patent. The Unified Patent Court is an international organization based in Luxembourg and consists of a court of first instance, an appeal body and a law firm. A central chamber will be located in Munich.

With the Unitary Patent, companies will be able to protect their inventions easier, faster and more cost-effectively throughout the EU. Multiple litigation in different member states, as is still necessary under the current European Patent Convention, is to be avoided.

The approval of the Bundesrat (German Federal Council) is planned for 18 December 2020. Until then and also afterwards, however, the project is likely to continue to be met with resistance. The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), for example, has already announced new constitutional complaints, as Germany would violate three other international treaties by ratifying the bill, thus causing serious problems with the rule of law.

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