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March 3, 2016
UPC - Proposal for Court Fees and Recoverable Costs

Last week, the Preparatory Committee proposed the amounts of court fees and recoverable costs. There will be fixed fees and value-based fees: For infringement actions, the court fees shall be € 11,000 minimum plus a value-based fee for actions with a value-in-dispute exceeding € 500,000. The ceiling for the value-based fee shall be € 325.000 (for an action with a value-in-dispute of more than € 50 m). For revocation actions, a fixed court fee of € 20,000 shall be due. As regards reimbursement of legal fees (for the most part patent attorneys’ and lawyers’ fees) the draft proposes ceilings between € 38,000 (value-in-dispute of € 250,000) up to € 2 m (value-in-dispute of more than € 50 m). Also, it is proposed that no official fee shall be charged for an opt-out. For more details, please look at the Guidelines and the Rules.

March 2, 2016
Proposed German Legislation on Double Patenting

In a legislative draft dated February 5, 2016 it is suggested to lift the traditional German prohibition of double protection: A German patent and (1) a parallel traditional (non-opted out) European Patent or (2) a European Patent with unitary effect (“Unitary Patent”) may exist in parallel. This means that the proposed law allows double patenting to a bigger extent than is currently the case in Germany. To protect the defendant from being sued in parallel (before the UPC and national German courts), he is given the right to object to a parallel infringement suit in Germany.

August 6, 2015
Unitary Patent: Expected renewal fees increase its attractiveness

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On June 24, 2015, the Select Committee with its majority recommendation of the “True Top 4”-proposal held out the prospect of a clear savings potential by making use of the unitary patent. If the Select Committee reaches a consensus on a corresponding allocation key in mid-September, an economically convincing argument, especially for the medium-sized companies, would further smooth the way for the unitary patent.

August 6, 2015
UK wagging the UPC

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Even though it was considered unlikely that the UK ratifies the UPC as a European project before the UK referendum took place, latest news affirm that the necessary legislative preparations shall be completed in spring 2016. Learning from the Grexit-discussion consequences of a possible loss or delay of a UPC-key Member State should be discussed. How intense does the UPC depend on the UK?

May 5, 2015
CJEU dismisses Complaints of Spain. The UPC will come.

The last obstacle has fallen. Today the CJEU has followed the opinion of the advocate general and dismissed the complaints of Spain. Most of the reasoning in the decision will be interesting for other similar matters but little for the Unified Patent Court. The regulations on the unitary patent and translation requirements do not violate EU law. Thus, the entire UPC/UP package is ready to go live. Only to the extent the decision of the CJEU gives guidance for how the UPC is to deal with the provisions and drafts of provisions existing so far a detailed analysis is worthwhile from a patent practitioners point of view. The available press releases shows nothing in this respect.

May 4, 2015
Constitutional Suit Against UPC in Belgium

If it has ever needed proof for the widespread expectation that the CJEU will dismiss Spain’s complaints on May 5, it is the move to have the Belgian Constitutional Court to annul Belgium’s ratification of the UPC Agreement. Apparently, the arguments are quite the same: language (in the guise of Dutch being discriminated by language provided for suits served and taking place in Belgium) – even though special attention is giving the Dutch in the Rules of Procedure, Rules of Procedure including its changes not being passed by Belgian parliament and the turmoil at the EPO rendering the EPO to not offer due legal recourse. It is not that the suit will put the UPC at risk. There will be more than 13 ratifications (and annulment of a ratification after the UPC has been put in place will likely not affect the court anymore). Yet, with a decision of the Belgium Constitutional Court against the UPC others might follow.

April 23, 2015
Erster Vorschlag zu Jahresgebühren für einheitliches Patent

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EPA macht erste Vorschläge für Jahresgebührenbeträge für einheitliches europäisches Patent. Nach langem Warten gibt es nun aus dem Europäischen Patentamt erste Vorschläge zur Höhe der Jahresgebühren, die für ein einheitliches europäisches Patent zu entrichten wären. EPA-Präsident Benoît Batistelli legt dem Auswahlkomitee des Verwaltungsrats des Europäischen Patentamts einen Bericht vor, in dem zwei Varianten einer Gebührenstruktur dargestellt werden.

December 13, 2013
After 30 years: Finally true unitary European patent

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On June 29, 2012, it was “decided” by EU-Council (rather Merkel, Hollande and Cameron), even though not resolved, that the long discussed Community-/EU-/Unitary-patent will come into force in the guise of a traditional European patent as of January 1, 2014. Only 5 days later, it appeared that we were back to square one. Te EU-Council had agreed on the seat of the new Unified Patent Court but also on one seemingly minor issue, namely the inclusion (or rather the removal) of Art. 6-8 of/from the relevant EU-Regulation. The relevance of these articles is seen in that their existence is considered to result in a necessary participation of the European Court of Justice, their absence in an avoidance of the European Court of Justice. The EU-Parliament had considered the existence of Art. 6-8 as mandatory and had agreed with the EU-Council to have the Art. 6-8 in the Regulation.