The ratification bill allowing the German government to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement and the bill amending German law to accommodate the Unitary Patent Package were adopted by both houses of German Parliament.

On 31st March, the German Bundesrat adopted, without any modification, the bill approved and sent by the Bundestag on 9th March 2017 for the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. The Bundesrat’s decision states:

Law resolution Of the German Bundestag

At its 956th meeting on 31 March 2017, the Federal Council (Bundesrat) adopted the Act adopted by the German Bundestag on 9 March 2017 in accordance with Article 23 (1), second sentence, Article 74 (2) in conjunction with paragraph 1 number 25 and 105 (3) of the Basic Law.

This bill provides for the ratification of the Unified Patent Court. It describes the purpose and functioning of the UPC. It also sets out the cost to be borne by Germany and the anticipated budget of the UPC.

The Bundesrat also examined the second bill which will modify German patent law to accommodate the Unitary Patent Package. The Bundesrat first examined this bill on 8 July 2017 and decided not to raise objections. It was then adopted by the Bundestag on 9 March 2017 without amendments. The Bundesrat therefore notes that there is no reason to submit the bill to the mediation committee.

This bill provides for the new European Patent with unitary effect to be incorporated into the German legal order:

  • It defines the situations which allow for the protection of an invention by a national patent and a European patent or a European patent with unitary effect.
  • It sets “a new compulsory enforcement rule (…) to enable the decisions and orders of the Unified Patent Court to be enforced without difficulty in Germany“.
  • A new compulsory enforcement rule will be introduced to enable the decisions and orders of the Unified Patent Court to be enforced without difficulty.
  • Finally, the German Patent and Trademark Office will be required to indicate in its register whether the patent has unitary effect of not.

Now that both Parliament houses have adopted the bills, the German executive and President must sign them. The bills must then be published in the German Federal Law Gazette to become legislation.