Crucial German vote on UPC scheduled for 9 March
As Germany moves closer to ratification of the UPC Agreement, the German Ministry of Justice estimates that the UPC will handle 180 cases in the first year.
According to the official agenda of the German Bundestag, one of the chambers of the German parliament, the final reading and passing of the draft legislation required for Germany to participate in the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) system is scheduled for 9 March 2017. The legislation consists of two separate bills, one being Germany’s formal consent to the UPC Agreement which makes it possible for Germany to ratify the UPC Agreement, the other implementing the Unitary patent system into German law. Both bills have already passed the first reading stage and entered the committee stage for review and preparation by the Committee for Legal & Consumer Affairs. If the two bills pass the Bundestag, they will then have to be confirmed by the second parliamentary chamber representing the German federal states, the Bundesrat, which, however, is considered to be a mere formality.
The explanatory notes to the draft bill regarding the UPC Agreement contain some interesting statements on the expected number of cases to be handled by the UPC in the first few years. According to the estimates provided by the German ministry of Justice, it is expected that the UPC will reach its full capacity of 1.800 to 2.200 cases per annum in the tenth year of its operation. For the first year, the ministry assumes that there will be around 180 cases. However, the ministry acknowledges that the caseload is hard to predict, in particular during the transitional period of 7 years in which it will be possible to “opt-out” traditional EP patents from the jurisdiction of the UPC.
8 Mar 2020