04 mar No fee to Opt out of Unified Patent Court

The Unified Patent Court(UPC) published a ‘Rules on UPC Court Fees and Recoverable Costs’ document in which it was announced that there will be no fee for opting out of the UPC.

The document, agreed upon by the UPC Preparatory Committee; is said to provide ‘a delicate balance of Member States’ views, comments made in responses to the consultation over the summer and recommendations from the UPC Expert Panel.’

The 21 page agreement gives us a clear insight into how exactly the opt-out process works, it also shed light on a few noteworthy considerations, for example; SMEs will benefit from a 40% fee discount.

We now know much more detail as to how the proposed opt-out process will work and that the administration burden rests almost entirely with the applicant. We also know that any cost to the Court associated with the opt-out is related to processing the fee. There is no additional cost for the Case Management System to process opt-out requests if there is no fee. Requiring people to make payment generates costs for the court which would not be needed if there were no fee. So, removing the fee removes the cost; it also eliminates the problem of how to process payments particularly during provisional application and honours the commitment already made to only reclaim administrative costs for the opt-out. – page 17