Unitary Patent Renewal Fees – EPO adopts lowest proposed fees
The EPO Select Committee (set up to supervise the EPO's activities related to the tasks entrusted to it in the context of unitary patent protection) has endorsed the “True Top 4” level of proposal renewal fees applicable to the unitary patent. The EPO reports that the proposal was adopted with the required ¾ majority.
The True Top 4 proposal was the lowest of the proposed fee sets and corresponds to the total sum of the renewal fees currently paid for the four most frequently validated countries (Germany, France, UK and the Netherlands), and contains a clause for possible revision after four years. Throughout the process of negotiation feedback from users of the system, who often only validate and pay renewal in 3 states, has always been to keep UP renewals fees as low as possible.
EPO President Benoît Battistelli said: "I am confident that today's decision strikes a positive balance, ensuring that the fees represent a real cost saving to the user and also providing a healthy operating budget for the EPO and the participating Member States. This is another major step in achieving truly uniform patent protection in Europe."
Decisions on distribution of renewals fees between the Member States, amongst other things, should be finalised during the autumn.