At present, it is uncertain whether, when, and in which countries the “EU patent” will enter into force. The relevant international Agreement has already been ratified by 16 states (as of June 29, 2020). The current status of ratification is shown on the European Council website.
The win of “Leave” in the Brexit referendum and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on January 31, 2020, however, are raising doubts about the project. In addition, the German Federal Constitutional Court annulled the German Consent Act by decision of February 13, 2020, published on March 20, 2020. Since ratification by Germany is mandatory for the Agreement to enter into force, it is anyone’s guess at the moment whether, when, and how the EU patent might still become reality – even though the Federal Minister of Justice announced on March 26, 2020 that she would continue to pursue the project.
Currently, there is actually therefore no need to worry about the EU patent yet. It is sufficient to be included on our "EU Patent Alerts" mailing list or follow us on Twitter (@Heuking_Patents). You will then receive an automatic notification as soon as things get serious.
Find our News in EU patent law here.
Legal requirements for a new attempt to ratify the UPC Agreement – How can it still be saved in spite of Brexit and the Federal Constitutional Court decision? – May 15, 2020, Bulletin of the German patent attorneys, jointly with Cem Karaosmanoğlu and Miran A. Aymaz
Updated on November 16, 2020 - the most important legal texts on the EU patent are - at least for lawyers:
All three texts and the overview are included in our "EU Patent" book. The book can be ordered by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of its scope of application, the Agreement takes precedence over national law. In addition, non-uniform national law might also apply (Art. 5 (3) in conjunction with Art. 7 Regulation (EU) 1257/2012).
The following will be new for German patent lawyers:
No provisions on patent vindication.