Five countries have now ratified the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities

Brexit and the German constitutional challenge

During the first quarter of 2018 four countries  (France, Luxembourg, Italy, UK) ratified the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities. This means that there is now a total of five ratifying countries.

The Protocol guarantees that the Unified Patent Court will benefit from privileges and immunities, necessary for the exercise of its functions. It provides notably for:

  • the inviolability of the premises of the Court, as well as those of archives and documents (Articles 3 & 4)
  • the immunity of the Court, its property, assets and funds (Article 5)
  • the immunity of  representatives of a state party (Article 6)
  • the privileges and immunities of the judges, registar and staff (Articles 9 & 10)

These guaranties will apply uniformely to all participating member states .

However, according to article 18, the Protocol will come into effect “30 days after the date on which the last of the four state parties – France, Germany, Luxemburg and the United Kingdom – has deposited its instrument of ratification“.  Germany’s ratification will thus trigger its entry into force -as well as the entry into force of the UPC.



UPC: Luxembourg ratifies the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities

UK ratifies the UPC Agreement

Luxembourg has become the third country to ratify the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court on 5th April 2018.

The Protocol will entitle the Unified Patent Court to benefit from privileges and immunities necessary for the Court to exercise its functions.

France ratified the Protocol in February 2018 while the Netherlands deposited its instrument of ratification in January 2017. Luxembourg’s ratification is nonetheless particularly significant. Indeed, the Protocol can only enter into force once ratified by France, Germany, the UK and Luxembourg.

However while both the UK and Germany have passed laws allowing ratification of the Protocol,  the Brexit deal and a complaint before Germany’s constitutional court have slowed down their ratifications. The Protocol’s entry into force is thus on hold until both issues have been settled.