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Blog 28 sep 2021

Germany Moves the UPC into the ‘Final Phase’

Geschreven door Paul Clarkson
Dit artikel is alleen beschikbaar in het Engels. On a day when Germany was more pre-occupied with the determination of its future president, the outgoing justice minister, Christine Lambrecht, made a somewhat surprising press announcement regarding Germany’s ratification of the Protocol on the Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement (PAP). This protocol is the springboard for full implementation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), whereby the Unitary Patent System can enter into force.

It allows the UPC to be established as an international organization and adopt the secondary legislation, budget, staff and electronic systems needed for the court to function. Appointment of the judges of the Court will be one of the most significant parts of this stage of the proceedings.


Many UPC watchers had taken their eyes off the ball, having become weary of the constant delays and disappointments since the (misplaced) elation in 2012 when the unitary patent regulation was first adopted. The timing of yesterdays’ announcement was not however so strange as it comes just 2 days before the next meeting of the Competitiveness Council on 29 September. Germany’s CDU government is clearly determined to push this through while it is still in a position to do so.

There remain just 2 more ratifications of the PAP outstanding for work to commence. A number of countries are on the cusp of depositing their instruments and it may be expected that these details will be hammered out this week.

Firing the starting pistol

The only further barrier to entry of the UPC is the formal deposition of the instrument of ratification of the actual UPC agreement by Germany. The legislation required for the German government to ratify the UPC has already been approved after the German Constitutional Court turned down the last challenges earlier this year. Germany will wait until all preparations are complete before depositing the final instrument of ratification – according to Christine Lambrecht in mid 2022.

The honour of firing the starting pistol will however be for the new German government – let’s hope they stick to the current script.

Read the press release (in German) here