Saturday, April 11, 2020

Disunitary Patent

The European Unitary Patent was intended to create a valuable patent right, available at a reasonable cost, and enforceable across a wide swathe of the European Union market.  The German Federal Constitutional Court dealt the Unitary Patent a severe blow on February 13, 2020.  An English-language press release summarizing this decision notes:
The Act of Approval to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“the Act of Approval”) to confer sovereign powers on the Unified Patent Court is void. In its outcome, it amends the Constitution in substantive terms, though it has not been approved by the Bundestag with the required two-thirds majority.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic distracted me from realizing that this decision had already been delivered.  The United Kingdom's decision not to participate and the German Constitutional Court's rejection of Germany's accession have delivered a severe one-two punch to the Unitary Patent.