The Select Committee of the Administrative Committee of the EPO dealing with arrangements for the unitary patent met on 23 and 24 March to discuss proposals for the level of renewal fees. A report of the meeting is HERE.
Regrettably the report does not reveal anything about the substance of the discussions, referring only to there having been a first exchange of views on the options proposed in paper SC/4/15. The lack of news will be disappointing for users, who need time to plan for budgetary reasons. Reading between the lines of SC/4/15, one senses the authors favouring a “TOP5” approach with SME discounts of 25%, a regime which would be distinctly unpopular with industry and indeed the European Commission (known to favour the “TOP4” approach), and would likely mean a very poor initial take up for the unitary patent. Further news, however, will probably have to await the formal announcement expected in June.