Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

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

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has hired former Anand & Anand partner Swati Sharma and hopes to compete with specialist IP firms
Rapporteur-Judge András Kupecz ruled that education and training weren’t legitimate reasons for a member of the public to access documents
Searches for comparison prior art will be a little easier, but practitioners will have to put more thought into claim construction and design patent titles
The Helsinki local division rejected AIM Sport’s request for a preliminary injunction in a dispute with rival Supponor
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The FTC’s plans to scrutinise improperly listed Orange Book patents could make these listings more important in litigation, but firms should be looking at this anyway
Counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton explain how they helped food delivery business Grubhub avoid a preliminary injunction at the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
European lawyers tell Managing IP how the legal market is reacting to the first few months of the UPC and why cases are set to take off
The ban could be extended or cancelled, depending on whether Judge Pauline Newman cooperates with an investigation, the Judicial Council of the Federal Circuit stated
Sources say some China-based lawyers are prepared to take large pay cuts to join stable practices, but most firms are sceptical about new hires