The Preparatory Committee for the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”) has published a consultation document providing the proposed fee structure of the UPC, a table of fees, and details of the ceilings for recoverable costs.
The level of fixed fees in relation to infringement actions are set at €11,000, with value-based fees then applicable to actions with a value of €50,000 or more. Other actions have various fixed fees, including €20,000 for a revocation action, and €80 for an application for opt-out. A scale of recoverable costs has been provided, ranging from up to €50,000 where the value of the action is €250,000, to €3million where the value of the action is greater than €50million. Rule 370.5 of the 17th draft Rules of Procedure states that “the assessment of the value of the relevant action shall reflect the objective interest pursued by the filing party at the time of filing the action”, and the consultation paper states that background guidelines will be provided in order to assist in assessing the objective interest.
There are also two proposals for reduced fees. The first proposal seeks to reward particular behaviours that reduce the workload of the UPC, for example where actions are heard by a single judge, or are withdrawn or settled. The second proposal provides an exemption from value-based fees for small and medium sized businesses, non-profit organisations, universities and public research organisations. Both proposals include the power of the Court to reimburse the fixed fee or reduce the value-based fee in the event that payment of the fees ‘threatens the economic existence of a party’.
Responses to the consultation are requested in English to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on 31 July 2015.