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The UKIPO is currently running a consultation on proposed changes to patent fees. The fee structure is being reviewed as the Government has made a manifesto commitment to make the UK the best place in Europe to patent new ideas [IPcopy note – this consultation was opened a few days prior to the Prime Minister calling the General Election]. To support this, the IPO is investing in electronic services and increased examination capacity and therefore is considering an increase to their fees. (more…)
As we contemplate the possibility that another recipe from “101 Things to do with Cold Turkey” is going to be needed to shift the last of the Christmas food, we thought we’d take a quick look back at the top 10 most read posts that we published this year. (more…)
Today we have a few nuggets of unitary patent and UPC news from around the web. In the post below we have an update on the state of German ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, a reference to the European Patent Litigation Certificate in IPReg’s UK patent attorney exam proposals and we also highlight a couple of recent articles on the Kluwer Patent Blog that discussed unitary patent renewal fee progress and the possibility of a pro-patent bias in the UPC. (more…)
Cast your mind back to December 2012 when the Unitary Patent Regulation and Unified Patent Agreement were approved by the European Parliament, and you may recall a lot of press releases explaining what great value for money the unitary patent would be. In particular, we were told that the unitary patent would bring patent protection in Europe financially in line with patent protection in other countries, such as the US and China.
Back then, the fees relating to the unitary patent were completely unknown. Fifteen months later, we know little more than we did then: it seems likely that there will be no fee for validating a unitary patent, and rumours are that the opt-out fee will be in the region of €50 – €100, but we are still in the dark when it comes to the most important fees of all: the renewal fees of the unitary patent. The only titbit that has recently escaped the lips of anyone in the know came from the EPO president, who said cryptically in December 2013 that the renewal fees would be “higher than many would hope, but lower than some might fear”.
The level at which the renewal fees are set will be key in determining whether the unitary patent can deliver on its promise of value for money. The Select Committee responsible for setting the renewal fees must balance on the one hand the need to keep the unitary patent financially attractive to industry, and on the other hand the need for the unitary patent to be self-financing. The second part of this equation is difficult for us to assess from the outside. The first half, however, is susceptible to a bit of speculation.
So, in this post, which will feature a lot of graphs, we will be taking a look at how value-for-money (in terms of renewal fees) differs among countries within the EPC and how the EPC and Unitary Patent countries currently compare to the US and China, and we will consider what level the Unitary Patent fees might need to be if they are to match the value-for-money offered by Chinese and US patents. We’re even going to go so far as to put out a prediction. We fully expect to be proved completely wrong, but hope that throwing out some actual numbers might generate some interesting discussion from commentators…