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AIPLA Letter to Select Committee in response to EPO's proposal on Unitary Patent Fees

Announcement Description

Dear IPP Europe Committee Members:

A follow-up letter to the EPO concerning Unitary Patent fees has been submitted by AIPLA with support from our committee.  Our previous letter of Feb. 11 can be found by clicking here.
 
After we submitted the previous letter, the President of the EPO proposed two alternative methods of computing UP fees, both of which were higher than our recommendations (see attached UP fee proposal).  EPO has informed us that we can provide revised comments in response to the President’s proposal, but that they should be submitted by Thursday of this week in order to be considered at a critical EPO meeting to be held early next week.  This is a critical issue for users of the European patent system, hence the urgency to be able to respond in good time.
 
In our previous letter, we supported a TOP3 calculation (fees set at the current cost of designating the top 3 countries in Europe, namely Germany, UK and France).  The President’s alternative proposals are (i) TOP4, or (ii) TOP5 with an SME fee reduction.  Both alternatives use Netherlands (NL) as the fourth office, which raises the overall fees significantly because Netherlands is currently very expensive.
 
In the draft follow-up letter, we continue to urge the TOP3 level for fees. However, if that is deemed totally impossible, we suggest adopting renewal fees at a level lower than the proposed TOP4 with NL; this would mean TOP4 without using the Netherlands as the only 4th state for the purposes of calculation.
 
With respect to SME fee reductions, the draft states that we oppose any significant increase in the fees charged to other users in order to fund SME fee reductions.  Instead, we suggest that they should be funded using the share of renewal fees received by the Member State patent offices.
 
The letter is stored under our committee documents/UP_fees folder. A public version may be found clicking here.

Please feel free to share them with others.
We want to thank John Hornickel, John Pegram and Al Tramposch for their efforts. 
 
Regards,
Iris Mok and Martin Koehler

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Created at 3/19/2015 6:37 PM by Iris Mok
Last modified at 6/7/2015 11:57 AM by Iris Mok