German parliament passes UPC privileges and immunities legislation


The draft law (bill 18/11238) to enable Germany to ratify the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court (PPI) received its final reading in the Bundestag (parliament) today and was approved in the final vote.  The PPI will give legal personality to the UPC and provide the Court and its judges, Registrar and other staff with the various privileges and immunities. One section of the Court’s central division will be in Munich, and four local divisions will also be in Germany: in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Mannheim and Munich. The bill will now be submitted as an act to the Bundesrat (Federal Council) for approval.  As reported here, the Bundesrat has previously issued a ‘statement’ on the bill concerning the privileges and immunities relating to the taxation of the salaries of the judges, Registrar and other staff, and the government responded to that statement on 29 March.  The Bundesrat is now expected to approve the act in its next session on 12 May 2017.   The Bundesrat has already approved an act to enable Germany to ratify the UPC Agreement and an act to amend national patent law (reported here).  For an act to be promulgated, the remaining steps after approval by the Bundesrat are: countersignature by the government, certification by the President, and publication in the Bundesgesetzblatt (Federal Law Gazette).

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