On the 24th June, the Select Committee of the European Patent Office voted to endorse the “True Top 4” proposal on renewal fees applicable to the unitary patent. This model proposes that the renewal fees each year should amount to the sum total of the current renewal fee costs in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands, which are the four most popular European jurisdictions for filing patents. This means that under the new model the cost of renewal over a 20 year period would be €2,000 cheaper than the fee outlined in the EPO’s original proposal earlier this year
As part of our efforts to lobby for an SME friendly renewal fees, Chambers Ireland engaged with both Minister Richard Bruton and Minister Damien English on this issue. Although the EPO did not agree a lower fee for SMEs, they did note that noted that specific care will be taken to consider the situation and interests of SMEs in the future.
For more information, please see the press release published by the EPO which is available here http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2015/20150624.html