Evaluation of the UPC by the German Federal Government

In early December the draft by the German Federal Government for the implementation of the UPC Agreement was published. In this draft the Federal Government gives some statements on the costs and expected case numbers. The German Federal Government will invest the one-time sum of €1 million for starting the Central Division in Munich and expects a further €450,000.00 of yearly operational costs. Starting the four Local Divisions is expected to cost about €2 million and additional yearly operational costs of €900,000.00.

In the draft the government also states that it expects that the Unified Patent Court will reach full utilisation after about 10 years with about 2000 actions. In the first year, the government expects only 180 actions. To this end total 20 judge positions should suffice which will be predominantly staffed by part-time judges.

Including the personal costs the overall costs for the court will be about €15 million in the first years and then climb to €18 million in the fourth year. This is countered by expected income of €1,8 million in the first year, €3,6 million in the second year, €5,4 million in the third year and €7,2 million in the fourth year. The deficit to be carried by the member states will therefore be about €13,6 million in the first year and then fluctuate between €10 million and €11,5 million per year. Germany’s part of this is expected to be €6 million in the first year and between €4,5 million and €5 million in the following years due to the high number of actions expected for Germany.

Thus, the member states do not seem to expect any more that the UPC will be self-financed in the first years. We will have to wait and see if in the end the necessary financial funds for the Unified Patent Court will be produced by court fees or penalty payments during the further operation of the Court.

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