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German Federal Council approves law for UPC ratification

On 26 November 2020, the German Bundestag adopted with the necessary qualified majority the draft ratification bill including the consent to the UPC agreement.

The remaining steps necessary for the act to be put into effect are a countersignature by the Federal Government and the signature of the Federal President, followed by the publication in the Federal Law Gazette (by which the law enters into force). However, two constitutional complaints have been filed, which may delay or even prevent the legislation coming into force.

Nonetheless, the EPO welcomed the news, and explained: “[o]nce the German ratification procedure is complete, it’s anticipated that the final preparatory steps could be taken to set up the Unitary Patent Court in 2021. The UPC could then start its work in 2022”.

In order for the Protocol on Provisional Application (PPA) to enter into force, in addition to Germany, two other contracting Member States need to sign the Protocol for the project to move into its final phase.

In the meantime, the work of the Preparatory Committee and its interim team in charge of the detailed planning continues. A timeline and a more detailed plan for the start and execution of the Provisional Application Period will be published in due course on the UPC preparatory committee website.

Once the agreement comes into effect, Unitary Patents will be available through the EPO, representing a single patent right which will be valid and enforceable across up to 24 EU member states.


If you have any questions on this topic, please contact Andy Cloughley at

Article written by Romi Korotana.

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