to Managing IP in an interview at the IP Summit in Paris
today, Battistelli (right) said: "People do not
consider how constrained we are in setting fees. We have said
that the unitary patent must be self-financing, on the one
hand, but it must also be attractive to industry, on the other.
The gap in between is pretty small."
Although Battistelli would not be pushed more on what the
fees will be, he said: "They will be higher than many would
hope, but lower than some might fear."
Preparation for the new work is going well, Battistelli
said, with the EPO technically ready to start processing
unitary patents today. "We are very relaxed about it. I
don’t see the first patents being granted until
the middle or end of 2015, so there is plenty of time. I
don’t feel we need to set fees that soon either,
given that timeframe."
In response to questions about EPO labour protests during
the recent 40th anniversary celebrations,
Battistelli said: "It is a tradition at the EPO. We are an
independent body that sets its own rules – and those
rules have generally been quite conservative. Changes such as
the recent addition of Chinese prior art can cause some
problems. But I’m determined to introduce reforms
to working practices when needed. It is that drive for
efficiency that will be the biggest contributor to lower fees
for IP owners."
Battistelli spoke to Managing IP at the new three-day format
IP Summit, in Paris. During a public presentation to
attendees later, he said: "The experience of the EPO has shown
that it is worth being both bold and optimistic. I hope we
learn that lesson with the unitary patent."