Highlights of the paper are:
- A proposed opt-out fee of €80 per patent family (no bulk discounts)
- A mixture of fixed and value-based fees for initiation of most proceedings
- A very granular scale of court fees according to value of the dispute (with a top level of fees for issuing proceedings of €220,000 for case of a value exceeding €30,000,000)
- A fixed fee for revocation actions of €20,000, whether initiated against a patentee as a central division claim or a counterclaim in infringement proceedings, with no value-based element (but no equivalent approach for declarations of non-infringement)
- Alternative options for a new R.370 of the Rules of Procedure with different approaches to the issue of discounted / refunded fees or specific SME and other support mainly by exemption from payment of value-based fees. On this topic, the categories of entities which would be eligible for financial support are very wide, and will probably encompass all NPEs
- A scale of ceilings for recoverable costs to a maximum of €3,000,000 for actions of value exceeding €50,000,000, but relatively limited recovery for many actions of lower value
No guidance is yet available on the methodology to be used in assessing value of disputes. Responses to the consultation may therefore wish to address this issue also.
The UK IPO proposes to hold events as part of the consultation process. Details will follow.