The Select Committee has adopted the True Top 4 for the renewal fees of the Unitary Patent:

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 EUR12th year: 1, 775 EUR
3rd year: 105 EUR13th year: 2, 105 EUR
4th year: 145 EUR14th year: 2, 455 EUR
5th year: 315 EUR15th year: 2, 830 EUR
6th year: 475 EUR16th year: 3, 240 EUR
7th year: 630 EUR17th year: 3, 640 EUR
8th year: 815 EUR18th year: 4, 055 EUR
9th year: 990 EUR19th year: 4, 455 EUR
10th year:  1, 175 EUR20th 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.

You can see our previous posts about the different proposals made by the EPO on renewal fees here (May 2015) and here (March 2015).