The Select Committee endorsed today the True Top 4 proposal for the renewal fees applicable to the Unitary Patent. The EPO reports that this proposal was adopted by the EU member states participating with the required 3/4 majority.
The True Top 4 proposal 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. Special consideration is also given to the situation of SMEs.
The True Top 4 proposal is divided as follow:
|2nd year:||35 EUR||12th year:||1, 775 EUR|
|3rd year:||105 EUR||13th year:||2, 105 EUR|
|4th year:||145 EUR||14th year:||2, 455 EUR|
|5th year:||315 EUR||15th year:||2, 830 EUR|
|6th year:||475 EUR||16th year:||3, 240 EUR|
|7th year:||630 EUR||17th year:||3, 640 EUR|
|8th year:||815 EUR||18th year:||4, 055 EUR|
|9th year:||990 EUR||19th year:||4, 455 EUR|
|10th year:||1, 175 EUR||20th year:||4, 855 EUR|
|11th year:||1, 560 EUR|
This proposal was preferred to the True Top 5 for which the renewal fees matched the five most frequently validated countries (Germany, France, UK, Netherlands and Sweden) and foresaw a 25% fee reduction for the first ten years of the lifetime of the patent for specific entities such as SMEs, universities and public research institutions. Under Top 4 proposal the patentee will have to pay a total of EUR 35, 555, whereas under Top 5 the patentee would have faced an overall cost of EUR 41, 955 and EUR 40, 403 for respectively the normal and reduced levels.
Putting aside the fear that these fees are still too high for SMEs, it is good news to have a definite idea of renewal fees for the Unitary Patent as it should enable us all to anticipate better when Unitary Patents are the most relevant to patentees.