The Administrative Committee of the UPC has issued a Table of Court fees document (8 July 2022; in force 1 September 2022).
- No fees will be charged to opt-out European patents from the jurisdiction of the UPC, nor to withdraw an opt-out.
- Infringement actions and declarations of non-infringement will have fixed court fees of 11,000 euros, with revocation actions set at 20,000 euros.
- Additional value-based court fees will be (self) assessed by the claimant (primarily on a licence fee basis) and paid at the same time as the fixed fee. If there is any disagreement over the value assessment this will be resolved at the interim conference. The Table of Court fees document provides general principles and specific suggestions for such assessment for particular actions. The value-based fees range from 0 euros (for actions of value up to and including 500,000 euros) to 325,000 euros (for actions of a value of more than 50 million euros).
- Value is also used to determine the ceiling of recoverable costs of the successful party (from 38,000 euros for proceedings with a value or up to and including 250,000 euros, all the way up to 2 million euros for proceedings with a value of more than 50 million euros). The ceiling may be raised in some instances for particularly complex cases but cannot exceed the maximum of 50 million euros.
- Fees and costs that could "threaten the economic viability" of one or other party may be reimbursed or decreased.
The UPC website states that the UPC’s court fees framework has been set up to balance the need for the court to be self-sustaining and to allow for fair access to justice. For this purpose, it includes fixed fees and for certain actions an additional value-based fee. Where a value-based fee is charged it applies when the value of a case is above the set ceiling of 500,000 €, and which increases with the value of the action. Value-based fees are provisionally based on the estimated value of the case put forward by the claimant in the Statement of Claim and are finally decided upon by the court. Guidance on the court's assessment of the value has been issued (see the Costs section of this hub). The estimated value of the case shall reflect the objective interest pursued by the claimant at the time of filing the action.
Actions for which an additional value-based fee might be due:
- Infringement action
- Counterclaim for infringement
- Action for declaration of non-infringement
- Action for compensation for license of right
- Application to determine damages
FEE REDUCTIONS AND REIMBURSEMENTS
The UPC website states that
- Small and micro-enterprises will benefit from a 40% reduction in court fees.
Furthermore, there will be reimbursements of fixed and value-based fees of up to 60% in cases of early settlement of the action by the parties, withdrawal of an action or the use of a single judge.
- If the amount of payable Court fees threatens the economic existence of a party who is not a natural person, and has presented reasonably available and plausible evidence to support that the amount of Court fees threatens its economic existence, the Court may upon request by that party, wholly or partially reimburse the fixed and value-based fee.
For information about the assessment of the value of an action and costs ceilings see the Costs section of this UPC Hub.
For more on the UPC and unitary patent see our series of feature articles published in PLC Magazine's March and April editions 2022 and shared in pdf form on our IP blog here.