Next setback for the UPC - Decision by German Constitutional Court


Only three weeks after UK’s withdrawal, the UPC suffered a hard setback by the German Constitutional Court: In its recently published decision dated 13 February 2020, the court declared the German Act of Accession to the UPCA (“Act”) to be void.

According to the Court’s statement, the lack of a two-thirds majority upon adoption by the German Bundestag invalidates the Act (Art. 23(1) third sentence in conjunction with Art. 79(2) Grundgesetz, the German Constitution). Such a qualified majority would have been necessary for the accession to the Act to be valid, since the UPCA would have had a substantial impact on the German Constitution by conferring sovereign powers of jurisdiction on a supranational body closely tied to the EU.

First hints of the Constitutional Court’s position regarding the Act were already apparent in its previous request to the President of Germany to halt further ratification steps until its final decision. Despite this, the IP community in Europe nevertheless expected that the constitutional complaint would in the end be dismissed.

To bring the UPCA into life, the legislative procedure would have to be re-started. This will mean a further delay for the UPC.

Our further analysis on the reasoning will follow.