UPC Edging Closer Towards Reality, German Challenge Remains

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Battling continued headwind, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) took another step toward reality in Europe this week, as the UK laid before Parliament the Order on Privileges and Immunities for the UPC.

The proposal will be debated in September and (if approved) passed and finalized. Albeit a formal one, this step nevertheless indicates the UK's commitment to the UPC, notwithstanding the uncertainties around Brexit. Similar legislation is expected to be laid before the Scottish Parliament in due course. Progress towards ratification has also been seen in Estonia, where the necessary laws have been passed in the territory towards ratification of the UPC agreement.

Attention is now turned to Germany, where a single individual recently challenged the constitutionality of the UPC, causing a delay to the German ratification process. Germany’s Bundesrat has put a hold on implementing legislation for ratification of the UPC until it resolves the challenge. This is expected to delay the provisional date for entry into force of the UPC, which had been scheduled for December 1, 2017.

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