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).