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Opt-out Fee Scrapped by UPC Preparatory Committee

The UPC preparatory committee today published the rules on the court fees and recoverable costs for the UPC (Unified Patent Court). They can be found here.

It will be of particular interest to many current proprietors of European patents, who wish to avoid the jurisdiction of the UPC, that the preparatory committee has abandoned the proposal for an opt-out fee. It was previously proposed that a fee of 80 EUR would be payable to opt-out each classical (non-unitary) European patent, but that is no longer the case. This means that proprietors will be able to file an online statement to opt a patent out of the jurisdiction of the UPC, with no official fee being payable.

The UPC preparatory committee is aiming to complete its work on the UPC by mid-2016, in principle enabling the court to open in early 2017. However, the court will not become operational until the agreement has been ratified by at least thirteen member states including the states in which the highest number of European patents had effect in 2012, namely the UK, France and Germany. Austria, France, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Malta, Luxembourg, Portugal and Finland have already ratified the Agreement, but the UK and Germany have not. More information on ratification by the UK can be found here.