Four committees of the Bundestag (German parliament) have recently considered the motion calling for the repeal of two acts enabling Germany to participate in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and unitary patent system, and each committee decided that the motion be rejected. The motion, filed in February 2018 by the AfD (Alternative for Germany) parliamentary group, claimed that the legislation is unconstitutional, relying on two of the grounds also present in the constitutional complaint against the same legislation currently pending before the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG). As reported here, in the Bundestag’s debate on the motion in March 2018 it was opposed by all parliamentary groups except the AfD, and referred to the relevant parliamentary committees for further consideration. The motion will now return to the Bundestag for a vote, with the lead committee having recommended that the Bundestag reject the motion.
The report of the lead committee, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection, shows that in its meeting on 20 February 2019 all the groups except the AfD voted to reject the motion, and the same voting pattern occurred in the three other committees: Economic and Energy Affairs; Education, Research and Technology Assessment; and the Affairs of the European Union. The Legal Affairs Committee’s report also shows that on 30 January 2019 it rejected an AfD motion to hold a public hearing on its proposal that the German UPC legislation be repealed. Reasons given by various groups referred not only to the fact that judicial proceedings (i.e. in the BVerfG) were still ongoing but to the AfD’s motion being aimed at pursuing an anti-European agenda.