June 14, 2017

Germany: German Court Delays UPC Ratification

The German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has delayed the ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.  The Process has been held up due to a constitutional complaint brought about by a private person, according to online magazine Legal Tribune Online.   Germany and the UK have not yet approved the deal, which requires 13 signatories including those two countries plus France before the UPC can be launched. Source:   WIPR
March 23, 2017

Germany: German Parliament Approves Ratification of the UPC Agreement

On March 10, 2017 the German Parliament, Bundestag, approved ratification of the UPC Agreement and related amendments to the German Patent Act.  As a next step in the legislative process, the German Federal Council, Bundesrat, will need to approve the draft legislation.  After approval by the Bundesrat, the resulting laws would then need to be signed by the newly elected Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The laws would take effect on the day following promulgation in the German Federal Law Gazette.   To date, twelve EU Member States have ratified the UPC Agreement, including France (14 March 2014) and Italy (10 February 2017).  The three countries with the highest number of patent application in Europe (France, Germany and the UK) are mandatory ratifying countries of the UPC Agreement.   In November of 2016 the UK government issued a press release stating that despite the UK’s planned leave from the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”), it still plans to ratify the UPC Agreement over the coming months.  However, it is not clear how the ratification of the UPC agreement will play out with the UK’s heralded rejection of the supremacy of EU law and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).   Source:  
July 26, 2016

Germany: Amendments to Trademark Regulation in Force

The German PTO announced amendments to the trademark regulation that became effective June 24, 2016.  The changes include:   Colored trademarks and black & white trademarks need to be submitted in the way they were intended to be registered.  It is no longer possible to request a black & white trademark registration when a colored version has been submitted.   Colored trademarks are now recognized as its own trademark type and covered by its own paragraph.   For trademarks including non-Latin characters, a translation, transliteration and transcription needs to be submitted with the trademark representation.   Source:
July 26, 2016

European Union: EU Trademark Applications Continue to Increase Annually

  In 2015, 70% of the 130,385 trademark applications received by the EU’s statistical office came from EU member states.   The highest number of applications originated from Germany at 20,447, followed by the United States at 16,881 and the UK in third place at 12,527.  Other countries with a high ranking number of applications were Italy, Spain and France.   The greatest number of non-EU countries (apart from the US) came from China, Switzerland, Japan and South Korea, which all numbered in the thousands.   The 89,240 applications made by EU member states represents a four-fold increase since 1996.