Costs of the Unitary Patent

A Unitary Patent will be less expensive than a European patent validated and maintained in four of the 25 Member States participating in the Unitary Patent system. Consequently, the more countries a classic European patent would have been validated in, the more cost-effective a Unitary Patent will be.

To maintain a Unitary Patent, the patent proprietor will have to pay annual renewal fees.

Unitary Patent proprietors will pay one single renewal fee to the EPO, in one currency and under a single legal regime as regards deadlines and admissible means of payment. This will greatly simplify matters for users.

Fees will be payable to the EPO – in Euro – by payment or transfer to a bank account held by the EPO, or by debiting a deposit account held with the EPO. Holders of EPO deposit accounts will also be able to use the EPO's Online Fee Payment service. Any person will be able to pay fees; there will be no need to use a representative.

The renewal fees correspond to the combined renewal fees due in the four countries where European patents were most often validated in 2015 ("top 4" = DE, UK, FR, NL).

The annual fees for maintaining a Unitary Patent for ten years – the current average lifetime of a European patent – amount to less than EUR 5 000. A comparison of the present annuity fees with the upcoming annuities as "Top 4" yields the following result ...