What would you say if you orde­red three rolls from the bak­e­ry, but from now on the­re are only packs of 10, which for­tu­n­a­te­ly only cost as much as seven? For your three-bun hun­ger, that does you pre­cious litt­le good. The cos­ts grow, but your hun­ger doesn’t.

The situa­ti­on is simi­lar with the unita­ry patent, which is tou­t­ed with com­ple­te­ly unrea­listic figu­res as an alle­ged cost redu­cer. For most medi­um-sized app­li­cants, the new unita­ry patent means only one thing, espe­cial­ly after the UK’s exit: cos­ts con­ti­nue to rise. Only for com­pa­nies that actual­ly need patent pro­tec­tion in many of the con­trac­ting sta­tes of the unita­ry patent cos­ts will go down – but the­se com­pa­nies are in the minority.

And in addi­ti­on to the rising cos­ts for many of the app­li­cants, the­re is ano­t­her serious dis­ad­van­ta­ge: If their patent is brought down in one sta­te, it will fall in all 25 states.

The bot­tom line is: you get pro­tec­tion in more coun­tries – for more money. But many small and medi­um-sized com­pa­nies do not need this addi­tio­nal pro­tec­tion bought at gre­at expense.

For some years now, inter­na­tio­nal com­pa­nies that used to use the Euro­pean Patent Office almost exclu­si­ve­ly have been filing more and more natio­nal patent app­li­ca­ti­ons in Ger­ma­ny, Fran­ce and the United King­dom – a trend that will inten­si­fy with the intro­duc­tion of the unita­ry patent and the com­ple­ti­on of Bre­x­it, espe­cial­ly sin­ce the­re is alrea­dy a clear cost advan­ta­ge in terms of offi­cial fees. An average Euro­pean patent app­li­ca­ti­on with 10 claims cos­ts around 8,000 euros in offi­cial fees over a term of seven years, while the same app­li­ca­ti­on as a natio­nal app­li­ca­ti­on in Ger­ma­ny, Fran­ce and the United King­dom only incurs offi­cial fees of just under 2,500 euros. It is the­re­fo­re worth con­si­de­ring natio­nal app­li­ca­ti­ons, even if trans­la­ti­on cos­ts are then incurred.

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#EU-Patent #Unitary_Patent