The Preparatory Committee has today published the much anticipated Rules on Court fees and recoverable costs for the UPC alongside a short Explanatory Note.
The Rules on Court fees and recoverable costs were agreed at the Preparatory Committee's last meeting, which took place on the 24-25 February 2016. The Rules are still subject to legal scrubbing but, in the interests of transparency and to keep users updated on the current work programme of the Committee, the Chair agreed that the Rules be published in their current form.
The Preparatory Committee also agreed the Guidelines for the determination of Court fees and the ceiling of recoverable costs of the successful party, and these can be found here.
To sum up, briefly:
- No opt out fees: The Preparatory Committee has removed the fee to opt-out of the UPC, and to withdraw an opt-out. (An opt-out fee of €80 per patent had previously been proposed).
- Fixed fees: The rules confirm the scales of fixed and value based fees. It will cost €11,000 (+ value based fee) to sue for infringement and €20,000 for revocation.
- Value based fees: The additional value-based fees start being applicable to actions which are valued at €750,000 and above (fee = € 2,500). For claims valued over €50 million the value based fees are capped at €325,000. The accompanying Guidelines explain that the value of the claim for the purposes of identifying the value-based fee should be assessed on the basis of an appropriate licence fee.
- Recoverable costs: The Preparatory Committee has set a ceiling on recoverable costs (dependent on the value of proceedings). The maximum ceiling for recoverable costs for values of more than €50 million has been capped at €2 million. Parties may request a lowering of the ceiling, where cost recoverability may threaten the economic existence of a company (SMEs, non-profits etc.). There are also provisions allowing the ceiling to be raised by up to 50% for cases valued up to €1m, 25% for cases valued from €1m-€50m and up to €5m in cases valued at over €50m, where the case is particularly complex or multilingual.