Niveau juridique : Union européenne
Texte de la question :
« Denmark is the eighth most active European country when it comes to patents, meaning that the establishment of a European unified patent court and a European unitary patent is a high priority.
The Agreement on a Unified Patent Court was due to have entered into force in 2017, but it has still not been ratified by Germany. A solution also needs to be found to deal with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without a further agreement on the patent court.
Businesses are extremely keen to see the establishment of a European one-stop shop that will effectively enforce protection, bring down the costs of patenting, and speed up the drawn-out enforcement procedures in national courts. This scheme will be especially beneficial for SMEs, because they often find it difficult to enforce their patents.
1. When does the Commission expect the unified patent scheme to be established, so that European businesses, in particular SMEs and entrepreneurs, can benefit from it?
2. Is the Commission intending to bring forward, as soon as possible, a specific plan for the patent scheme in the light of the UK’s announcement that it does not wish to participate in it, and to address the uncertainty surrounding the location of the third section of the central division of the court?
3. Is the Commission intending to bring pressure to bear on Germany to ratify the agreement before the end of 2020? »
Réponse de Mr Breton au nom de la Commission européenne :
« 1.The swift launch of the unitary patent system remains a political priority. However, the launch of the unitary patent system requires the ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (to which the EU is not party) by the concerned EU Member States. Considering the status of the ratification process, it would seem reasonable to expect that the Protocol on provisional application of the UPC Agreement (UPCA) could enter into force during the first semester of 2021, and that the unitary patent system may start operating from 2022.
2.The assessment of the consequences on the UPCA of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU and from the UPCA, including on the matter of the court’s locations, is to be made by the EU Member States concerned. The Member States discussed and made good progress on these matters in the September 2020 meeting of the UPC Preparatory Committee1.
3.The Commission notes that Germany is deploying serious efforts to ratify the UPC Agreement as rapidly as possible. However, following the publication of the new draft UPC ratification bill already in June 20202 and the recent positive votes by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, the ratification process in Germany was halted due to new legal challenges before the German Constitutional Court. The Commission would welcome a swift ratification of the UPC Agreement byGermany following a successful resolution of these constitutional challenges. »
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