Article 69

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Legal costs

1.   Reasonable and proportionate legal costs and other expenses incurred by the successful party shall, as a general rule, be borne by the unsuccessful party, unless equity requires otherwise, up to a ceiling set in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.

2.   Where a party succeeds only in part or in exceptional circumstances, the Court may order that costs be apportioned equitably or that the parties bear their own costs.

3.   A party should bear any unnecessary costs it has caused the Court or another party.

4.   At the request of the defendant, the Court may order the applicant to provide adequate security for the legal costs and other expenses incurred by the defendant which the applicant may be liable to bear, in particular in the cases referred to in Articles 59 to 62.

 

Case Law:

 

IPPT20240213, UPC CFI, LD The Hague, Plant-e v Arkyne
Defendant’s request for security for costs (“cautio iudicatum solvi”) rejected (Article 69(4) UPCA; Rule 158 RoP, Article 24 UPCA). Protecting the rights of the defendant should be balanced against the right of the claimant to enforce its patent rights. The main rationale for the cautio is to secure the enforceability of a potential cost order. If such order is directly enforceable after it is granted, it can serve as grounds not to allow a cautio at the start of or during the proceedings. UPC decisions and orders are directly enforceable in the Netherlands in accordance with Art. 82 UPCA, Art. 71d Brussels and R. 354.1 RoP. A cautio in this case is hence not justified because of the risk that a possible cost order in favour of Bioo will not be directly enforceable. This contrasts with the situation decided by the CD Munich [IPPT20231030]  – [....] – on which Bioo relies. In that case the relevant claimant was domiciled outside the EU and no treaty regarding the execution of judgments was in place. As a rule, the court finds that a cautio based solely on (expected) material unenforceability should be awarded in exceptional circumstances only. The court agrees that under the circumstances in the present situation, which involves two competing SMEs with limited finances, the financial strain on the claimant can be a serious impediment to enforcement of its rights and to access to justice, and hence for granting a cautio. Lastly the court takes into consideration that according to Dutch national procedural law it is not possible to give a cautio vis-a-vis plaintiffs domiciled or residing in the Netherlands (and hence in the EU) under any circumstances, and also if there is good reason to doubt the possibility of recovery of a potential cost order due to the financial situation of the claimant.

 

IPPT20240131, UPC CFI, CD Munich, Nanostring v Harvard

Reasonable and proportionate legal costs (article 69 UPCA). In order for the parties and the Court to assess whether costs incurred are indeed reasonable and proportionate and whether or not equity requires otherwise, the Court and parties must have access to information showing at least a detailed description of the number of hours spent working on this particular case, by whom, what for and at what rate. The same applies to any expenses incurred. To this end, the Court will allow the filing of additional exhibits relating to costs until two weeks prior to the hearing (3 April 2024) for all costs incurred until that date. This submission may be updated by a further submission to be lodged at the latest noon CET on the day before the hearing (16 April 2024). The last submission may include an estimate of costs incurred for the hearing itself. The judge-rapporteur informed the parties that the Court will, in principle, respect an agreement between the parties on the amount of costs that is deemed reasonable and proportionate.

 

IPPT20231220, UPC CFI, LD Munich, SES-Imagotag v Hanshow
The applicant of an unsuccessful application for interim measures must generally also bear the costs incurred by the defendant as a result of a protective letter. This results from the fact that the filed protective brief has become part of the proceedings for the adoption of interim measures through its transmission in accordance with Rule 207.8 RoP. 

 

IPPT20231219, UPC CFI, LD Munich, Edwards Lifesciences v Meril
Settlement of application for preliminary measures because of declaration and undertaking of discontinuance by the defendant. The provision of Rule 360 RoP (settlement of the main proceedings) applies mutatis mutandis to applications for interim measures. Under the circumstances it is equitable to order the defendant to pay the entire costs, irrespective of the prospect of success of the application for interim measures (Article 69 UPCA; Rule 118.5 RoP). Only obligation to reimburse costs can at present be determined, any further claims dismissed as currently premature. 

 

IPPT20231205, UPC CFI, LD Munich, 10x Genomics v Nanostring

Defendants have to pay the full costs (Article 69 UPCA, Rule 354(4) RoP): (a) all of the infringements asserted by the applicants were also to be regarded as infringements, so that the applicants were completely successful with their application in this respect. (b) the fact that the applicants formally requested the imposition of significantly higher periodic penalty payments does not, in the view of the Chamber, lead to the applicants having to bear part of the costs of the periodic penalty payment proceedings, taking into account the fundamental considerations on the allocation of costs in Art. 69(1) and (2) UPCA, since the determination of the amount is at the discretion of the court (Rule 354.4 RoP) and information on the amount provided by the applicant can at most have the character of a proposal in this respect.

 

IPPT20231030, UPC CFI, CD Munich, Nanostring v Harvard

Relevant factors when considering security for legal costs and expenses (Article 69(4) UPCARule 158 RoP). A legitimate and real concern that a possible cost order might not be recoverable and/or the likelihood that a possible cost order by the UPC may not, or in an unduly burdensome way, be enforceable. It is for the party requesting a security order to bring forward facts and arguments why such an order is appropriate in a specific case. Once facts and reasons in support of a security request have been brought forward in a credible way, it is up to the responding party to contest such facts and reasons in a substantiated way, especially since that party will normally have knowledge of and will be in the possession of evidence in relation to its financial position and (the location of) its assets. Order to provide security for legal costs and other expenses pursuant to Rule 158.1 RoP to the amount of EUR 300,000. 

 

UPC CFI, LD Vienna, 13 September 2023, CUP&CINO v Alpina Coffee
In proceedings for interim measures, the successful defendant can be finally awarded procedural costs upon application (Article 69 UPCA, Rule 150 RoP). The applicant cannot successfully claim the costs of these proceedings as the unsuccessful party, even if the proceedings on the merits are successful.