German Bundestag to re-debate UPC legislation on March 15

07 March 2018

The German far-right party “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD) has apparently introduced a request for re-debating the laws allowing for ratification of the UPC and for amendment of Germany’s patent laws. The request pursues a complete repeal of these laws (https://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2018/kw11-de-patenrechtsreform/546352, in German). It is currently scheduled for debate on March 15, 2018.

This initiative is probably quite unlikely to succeed. Some commentators are in fact debating whether a vote in the Bundestag denying this request might even strengthen the pro-UPC case in the pending constitutional challenge, as it could render moot the challenge based on an allegedly insufficient quorum when the laws enabling UPC ratification were first voted upon. However, this might be a little too optimistic given that formally, any vote on the AfD’s request would represent a vote on a separate (repeal) law, rather than a renewed vote on the original legislation. Still, a resounding “no” to the current request for a repeal might at least yield some symbolic value.