Düsseldorf, May 17, 2021 – On April 19, 2021, the German federal government presented a draft law on the further tasks of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) and an amendment of the Patent Costs Act (Patentkostengesetz) (19/28680). In this, the government proposes a rise in fees: for a patent holder to maintain patent protection for the maximum possible term of 20 years, the costs would increase by 990 euros from 13 170 euros to 14 160 euros. For an average patent with a term of twelve years and ten months, the fee would be increased by 440 euros (13 percent). These measures could generate additional revenue of 47.7 million euros for the German Patent and Trademark Office.
In Cohausz & Florack’s (C&F) opinion, this planned version of the law is highly questionable: “What the German federal government calls an ‘innovation initiative’ in its draft is a step backwards in an otherwise well-functioning patent system,” says Gottfried Schüll, patent attorney and partner at C&F. “Innovation is not furthered by increasing the cost of protecting it – quite the opposite”.
To strengthen the existing patent system, C&F believes that the Federal Patent Court as the first instance should be given more financial support in nullity proceedings and its work should be synchronized with that of the Federal Court of Justice as the second instance. This would enable a more effective use of skills and save time and money overall. “However, since the planned additional revenue will not be put towards the necessary expansion of the Federal Patent Court, the law cannot be in the interest of patent protection and certainly not in the interest of innovative companies that strengthen our economy,” Schüll continued.
Picture credits: Marco Scisetti – AdobeStock.com