The new Unified Patent Court (UPC) is expected to open its doors in 2017. The UPC will have exclusive jurisdiction over cases relating to the new Unitary Patent (UP). By default, the UPC will also be competent to hear cases relating to ‘classical’ European patents. However, there will be the possibility to opt out ‘classical’ European patents from the jurisdiction of the UPC if desired. It will not be possible to opt out Unitary Patents from the jurisdiction of the UPC.
On 26 February 2016 the long-awaited UPC fees were published. Importantly, it was announced that there will not be any official fee for opting out a ‘classical’ European patent from the jurisdiction of the UPC, or for subsequently withdrawing any such opt out. Previously, the opt out fee was expected to be around EUR 80 to cover administrative costs. However, the UPC has decided to reduce the official opt out fee to zero since the administrative burden will in fact rest almost entirely with the applicant or representative.
This is clearly good news for applicants with large portfolios who would rather not have their patents subject to the decisions of such a new court with no existing case law.
Please contact Jo Pelly or your usual adviser for further information.