Cost of a Unitary Patent
The following costs apply for a Unitary Patent:
Filing to Grant fees
As there is no change with the grant procedure at the EPO, there is also no change in the official fees until grant of the patent by the EPO.
Unitary protection can be requested, at no official cost, within one month of grant by the EPO.
At the time of requesting unitary protection, a translation of the complete specification must be filed. If the patent is in English, the patentee can choose any other EU language for the translation. If the patent is not in English, then translation must be into English.
For the participating EU countries, there is no longer a need for validation procedures seperately in each country, thereby avoiding the costs for preparing partial or complete translations of the granted patent and for choosing local representation.
Unitary Patent holders shall pay a single renewal fee to the EPO for each renewal year.
The EPO is expected to adopt the single renewal fee to be the equivalent of the national renewal fees for the four most common validation countries in the case of classic EP patents.
For the users, this means a simplified procedure with regards to the deadline and payment.
Based on the expected renewal fees for the UP as provided by the EPO, as well as sample comparison calculations, the UP can be a more cost-effective option compared to a traditional European patent (EP) that is validated and maintained in four or more of the participating EU countries.
This does not necessarily mean that if your IP strategy involves a greater number of participating EU countries it would make sense to apply for a unitary patent.
This is because, unlike classical route where the amount of renewal fee expenses can be reduced later in the life of the patent by reducing the number of states, with the unitary patent, the patentee is bound to a fixed level of renewal fees, as it can be for national validations of a European Patent.
Of course a range of other criteria may also have to be considered when deciding whether or not to go for UP.
Cost at Unitary Patent Court
The intention of the UPC system is that the costs of an enforcement action (infringement and validity) of a UP across the participating EU member countries is significantly less than the total cost of enforcement in several member countries.
Fixed Court fees
- Infringement actions (including counterclaim for infringement, and declaration of non-infringement) is set at a fixed court fee of €11,000, and
- Invalidity actions (including counterclaim) is set at a fixed court fee of €20,000.
Value-based Court fees
An additional value-based court fee ranges from €2,500 (for actions valued more than €500,000) to €325,000 (for actions valued more than €50 million).