Among many other tasks, the Danish Government when taking over the EU Presidency as of 1 January took over the continued challenges (and problems) in connection with securing a compromise that may lead to a Unified Patent Court. Despite the intentions of the Polish presidency to land a compromise during its tenure, the issue remains unresolved at the time when the Danish presidency has commenced.
Regardless of the negotiations that are still outstanding at the international level, it appears that the Danish Trade Secretary, Mr Ole Sohn, will also have to negotiate a separate national Danish aspect with one or more parties outside of the recently elected Danish Social Democrat coalition government as both a right-wing party and a left-wing party have taken the position that they will demand a national referendum on whether Denmark should join the Unified Patent Court system. As the establishment of a Unified Patent Court is considered to entail the transfer of national sovereignty in the field of patents, under the Danish constitution the prerequisite bill must be passed by the Danish parliament by a majority of 5/6 if it is to be passed without a national Danish referendum.
One of the two parties, the right wing party, Dansk Folkeparti, has now stated that the establishment of a Unified Patent Court with Danish participation should not take place without a national referendum and the other (left wing) party, Enhedslisten, has stated the same – both parties are known for their general EU scepticism.
We will follow this separate national Danish issue and report on any developments.