Why the Commission is rattled over the Unitary Patent
Managing IP is part of Legal Benchmarking Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX
Copyright © Legal Benchmarking Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Why the Commission is rattled over the Unitary Patent

There is lots happening in Munich this week, as member state representatives gather on Bob-van-Benthem-Platz for a meeting of the Administrative Council on Wednesday. But while much of the focus on the EPO centres on industrial relations and governance issues, there are important Unitary Patent developments taking place too


Today members of the select committee of the Admin Council tasked with setting application and renewal fees for the new patent begin their latest two-day meeting.

It is their first since the EPO floated two fee proposals earlier this month. Its so-called TOP4 and TOP5 proposals are based on, respectively, the cost of validating European patents in the most popular four or five member states.

The decision about how much it will cost to apply for and maintain a Unitary Patent was always going to be contentious, since those setting the levels have to reconcile a number of interests – including their own.

Industry has long-championed low fees (no surprise there). But now it seems that IP owners’ unwillingness to use the new system if the figures don’t stack up in their favour has got European Commission officials rattled.

On Friday we reported that senior members of DG Internal Market had shared with the EPO “in no uncertain terms” its view that the level of renewal fees is critical for the success of the system. (You can read more about what officials told us here).

After spending more than 40 years trying to get a pan-European patent right in place, it is easy to understand the bureaucrats’ frustration that it might be stymied from the start by member states keen to maximise their own financial share. The Commission enjoys merely observer status at the select committee meetings. But it is intriguing to think about what its representatives will be saying to member states during the coffee breaks.

Only 30% of our content is published on our blog – to access all of our content you need to be a subscriber. We like to offer our loyal blog readers a special rate, so register your interest in a subscription and we will be in touch shortly.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Mark Lemley explains how his firm helped secure a precedential victory in a design patent case involving spare automobile parts
A historic treaty on traditional knowledge and genetic resources, which could have ramifications for patent applicants and their representatives, has been agreed
Ahead of the first anniversary of the UPC, practitioners share how the court has kept them busy and look ahead to emerging trends
Three counsel who joined Boies Schiller explain why the firm will help them advise both plaintiffs and defendants
The Grand Board said the applied-for mark would ‘trivialise’ one of the deadliest pandemics in history
Tim Chen Saulsbury explains why single-craft artisans inspire him and how, even at home, he’s never too far from another IP lawyer
The firm also plans to build an entertainment practice group and up its IP and antitrust offerings with a focus on foreign clients
An intimate understanding of a client’s sector is essential to winning new business, a survey of over 28,000 corporate counsel reveals
Counsel say a Federal Circuit ruling on the obviousness test for design patents may increase the time IP owners spend defending their rights
With INTA Annual Meeting over for another year, here are a few things Managing IP learned after attending IP’s biggest party
Gift this article