ESOMA’s challenge of the UPCA before Belgium’s constitutional court dropped

We highlighted in May that the European Software Market Association was challenging the Unitary Patent before the Belgian Constitutional Court. ESOMA in fact believed that the Unitary Patent “violated the Belgian Constitution (by denying) Belgians equality before the law, (by discriminating) on basis of language, (by violating) the separation of powers, and (was) an illegal political maneuver by the European Patent Office”.

However the Court declared on 21 st May 2015 that ESOMA’s request was inadmissible, as it appeared that the claim was filed after the 60 day period within which the Consituational Court could address the constitutionality of Belgian laws. The law allowing the ratification of the UPCA was in fact published in the Moniteur Belge on 09th September 2014 while ESOMA’s request was only filed on 09th March 2015. The Constitutional Court therefore did not have a chance to look into details in ESOMA’s claims  and declined to consider the substantial issues allegedly at stake.

After the ECJ decision opposing Spain and the European Commission, this is thus the second decision in favour of the UPC, clearing the way for its planned entry into force in 2016.


The Belgian Constitutional Court decision can be found here.


A new challenge to the Unitary Patent Agreement before Belgium’s Constitutional Court

The IPCopy blog highlights a new challenge to the Unitary Patent Agreement brought by the European Software Market Association, a non-for-profit organisation which presents itself as “the voice of independent IT firms, professionals, and consumers”. The ESMA filed a suit before Belgium’s Constitutional Court at the beginning of April.

The ESMA argues that the Unitary Patent violates the Belgian Constitution by “deny(ing) Belgians equality before the law, discriminat(ing) on basis of language, violat(ing) the separation of powers, and (being) an illegal politician manoeuvre by the European Patent Office.”

As Belgium ratified the UPCA in June 2014, it is highly unlikely that this challenge will have any impact on the UPCA or its entry into force. However at a time where all governments should be considering a quick ratification, let’s hope that this does not incite new judicial challenges.

We would love to hear from our readers if they know any other organisation/individuals challenging the UPCA before the Courts.