As the UPC is slowly coming into place Christian Hafner from swiPr looked into the handling of renewals related to Unitary Patents. (Find out more about Christian and swiPr here)
Within the year 2022, the European Unitary Patent will be an option for applicants. Preliminary, the Unitary Patent is going to cover the EU member states except for Croatia and Spain and not any of the non-EU-member states such as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and the UK.
For information about the Coverage of European patents and those with unitary effect, we refer to the following link from the EPO’s official website (as of today, the number of current Unitary Patent states are 17 out of 38 Member states of the EPO):
Please find below some thoughts relating to renewal fees for Unitary Patents.
The EPO states: “The renewal fees have been set at a very competitive level and are particularly attractive for the first ten years, the average lifetime of a European patent.”
The renewals for a Unitary Patent range from EUR 35 for the second year to EUR 4855 in the 20th year.
The amount of the renewal fees is based on the four member states (Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands) in which most European Patents are in force.
It is advisable to consider the Unitary Patent if you plan to have your EP/UP valid in more than or exactly four UP member states, as it seems to be cheaper, since validation costs can be saved. We recommend calculating the cost in more detail if you plan to validate your approved European Patent Application in less than four countries. It is further of importance to be aware that some markets in Europe are not covered by the Unitary Patent and that the Unitary Patent might also pose some risks. Please keep this in mind when talking to your European Patent Attorney.
The payment procedure and handling after grant is further simplified with the Unitary Patent and in particular the renewal fee payment has been further improved. What you will need is a professional and transparent renewals service provider such as swiPr, that keeps track of the deadlines and advises you regarding strategic planning of your expenses related to your IP rights.
For further information about the UPCA, please check the EPO website:
CEO of swIpr