On 25 February the Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) published the agreed Rules on Court fees and recoverable costs for the new court.
According to the current proposal there will be two kinds of fees in the UPC:
- fixed fees, which are payable for initiating an action (infringement, declaration of non-infringement, revocation), applications for search and seizure of evidence, leave to appeal and other procedural steps;
and, additionally, for infringement actions and declarations of non-infringement
- a value based fee.
It is currently proposed that the additional value-based fee will be scaled according to the value of the action, for actions valued between more than €500,000 and a maximum of more than €50 million – the fee ranging from a minimum of €2,500 to a maximum of €325,000. For actions valued up to and including €500,000, only the fixed fee of €11,000 will be payable for an infringement or non-infringement action. Only a fixed fee of €20,000 is payable for a stand-alone revocation action. If the revocation action, however, is lodged by counterclaim, the fee will be calculated on the same basis as the infringement action, up to a cap of €20,000. For preliminary injunction proceedings, only the fixed fee of €11,000 accrues, irrespective of the value of the action.
Fees may be reduced in certain circumstances, in particular:
- partial reimbursement when the action is withdrawn or settled (from 20% to 60% depending on the stage at which this happens);
- Subject to certain requirements, small enterprises and micro-enterprises are entitled to pay only 60% of fees;
- If the action is heard by a single judge the party liable for the fees will be reimbursed by 25%.
If, on the basis of reasonably plausible and available evidence, the amount of payable fees threatens the economic existence of a party who is not a natural person the court may, upon request by that party, wholly or partially reimburse the fixed and value-based fee.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.