The cost of the Unified Patent Court
Even though it is hard to give a definitive overview of the cost of a court case handled by the Unified Patent Court (UPC), it is save to conclude that there are several aspects that potentially make it significantly cheaper than the current system.
Currently, prices of patent litigation differ per country. In the Netherlands, for example, a court case can cost you between €30.000 and €300.000. Under the current system, IP-disputes have to be dealt with in each individual country. Which means that the total cost of fighting or defending a case of intellectual property can rapidly rise up to millions of euros.
With many jurisdictions, the current system mainly puts SME’s at a disadvantage, as it is almost impossible to afford litigation in several countries.
The current estimate for the UPC is that a court case will cost anywhere between €40.000 and €600.000. For its cases, the UPC will use fees that consist of a fixed fee element and a value based element. For example, all infringement actions will have a fixed fee of €11.000. All actions valued above €500.000 will in addition be charged with a value based fee. The maximum value based fee, for actions with a value of more than €50.000.000, is set at €325.000. Revocation cases know no value based fees, and will charge a fixed fee of €20.000. SME’s are only required 60% of all fees. A list of all fees and costs can be found here.
Within this system it is clear that, also at the UPC, high stake cases can get complicated and end up costing millions. Even in these cases, however, money will be saved due to the fact that no additional legal, travel or translation costs have to be made to litigate in several countries. With time saved by this also having its monetary value.