"After decades of negotiating the Unitary Patent, on 24 June we took an important step towards making it happen. I strongly welcome the agreement reached by Member States yesterday on the level of renewal fees for the Unitary Patent. It means that a company protecting its innovation with the Unitary Patent will pay less than €5000 in renewal fees over 10 years covering a territory of 25 Member States, instead of the current level of around €30 000 which has proven to discourage companies from patenting in Europe. The agreed level of fees will reduce the gap between the cost of patent protection in Europe compared with the US, Japan and other third countries. I have always argued that an affordable level of renewal fees is a key element to ensure the attractiveness of the Unitary Patent to companies, especially start-ups. I have had very good discussions with Ministers on the issue and thank them for making Europe's competitiveness our main consideration. We need to keep the momentum and speed up the ratification process so that the Unitary Patent becomes effective as soon as possible. For my part, I will continue working on solutions to further minimise the cost of patent protection for SMEs."

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Contact details: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: +32 229 56182