The Unified Patent Court Preparatory Committee has launched a public consultation on the fee structure of the Court, including the Court fees, a cap on recoverable representation costs and the fee for opting “traditional” European patents out of the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court.
As outlined in the Draft Rules relating to the Unified Patent Court, the court fees will be made up of a fixed fee for all cases and an additional value-based fee for higher value cases. The consultation proposes to set the fixed-based fee for an infringement action at € 11,000 and the fixed-based fee for a revocation action at € 20,000. The consultation also proposes that an additional value-based fee is payable on cases with a value of more than € 500,000. The consultation proposes a tiered fee structure, with the value-based fee equating to around 0.5 to 1 % of the value of the case.
The value of the action is judged by the judge-rapporteur taking into account the value as assessed by the parties. The judge-rapporteur will make an order for the value during the interim procedure (after written procedure, but before the oral hearing).
The consultation also sets out proposals to allow certain parties to apply for a reduction in the court fees. The proposal aims to assist small and medium sized businesses, non-profit organisations, universities and public research organisations with the court fees.
CAP ON RECOVERABLE COSTS
In addition, the consultation proposes a schedule for the recovery of costs by the successful party. The schedule provides a ceiling for the recoverable costs (including court fees, expert fees and attorney fees) based on the value of the action, ranging from an upper limit of € 50,000 for the lowest value cases to an upper limit of € 3,000,000 for actions valued at € 50,000,000 or more.
When the Unified Patent Court comes into force, all “traditional” European patents will automatically fall under the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court, unless the proprietor “opts-out”. The consultation proposes a flat fee of € 80 to opt-out each patent out of the system. Similarly, the proposed fee for opting back into the UPC after opting out is € 80.