The UK IPO fee changes announced in our previous blog will officially take effect on 6 April 2018. Here is an outline of the changes being made by the UK IPO:
- Increase the filing fee from £20 to £60 for electronic applications, when paid upon filing the application (the increase is higher for paper applications).
- Introduce a 25% surcharge on the filing fee if the fee is not paid at the time of filing the application, pushing official filing costs up to £75 for electronically filed applications.
- Increase the search and substantive examination fees by £20, if requested electronically (the increase is also higher for paper applications).
- Increase the patent renewal fees for the 12th year onwards by £10.
- Introduction of excess claims, excess pages and grant fees, which is discussed in more detail below.
The UK IPO will be going ahead with a £20 excess claims fee for each claim over 25, payable with requests for search, and an excess pages fee of £10 for each page over 35, payable with requests for substantive examination. The UK IPO have confirmed that these new fees will apply to search and examination requests made on or after 6 April 2018. Therefore, if applicable, applicants with sizeable specifications may want to consider requesting search and/or examination before 6 April 2018 to avoid paying excess fees.
Additionally, an allowed application may attract a grant fee comprising any further excess claims or pages fees, if the number of claims beyond 25 and number of pages beyond 35 have increased since search and examination were requested. The notification of intention to grant will set a two-month period for payment of the grant fee. Non-payment or incomplete payment of the grant fee will result in the application not proceeding to grant. No refunds will be available where the number of claims or pages have decreased since payment of the search or examination fees.
Despite these changes coming into effect later this year, it will remain possible, under the UK IPO’s fee structure, to establish a priority date without paying any official fees during the first 12 months and to obtain high quality prior art searches at a low cost. The UK should therefore prevail as one of the most attractive jurisdictions for first filings.
For more information on the UK IPO fee changes soon coming into effect, or if you have any questions on how these changes might impact you, please contact us.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.