Global life sciences companies have been carefully watching the European effort to launch a Unified Patent Court (UPC). As we discussed in a previous post, the UPC would have a profound effect on how life sciences companies set about their patent strategies – from filing through exploitation to enforcement.

Efforts to implement the UPC, however, have ended up facing considerable challenges. The Hungarian Constitutional Court found the Hungarian act ratifying the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) unconstitutional. The UK government eventually stated the country would not participate in the new patent litigation system. And, significantly, the Constitutional Court in Germany, the country in which two-thirds of all patent infringement cases in Europe are brought, started examining the constitutionality of the national law ratifying UPCA following a filed complaint by a single patent practitioner.

On Friday, March 20, the German Constitutional Court confirmed that the law was void. For more on this important development and its implications, please see our client alert, “A never-ending story ends? German law ratifying UPCA is void.”