The EPO has recently announced an increase to its official fees which will kick in on 1 April 2020. Some would say that this fee hike comes as no surprise as the EPO has been increasing its fees every two years; the EPO had previously increased their fees in 2018.
Most EPO official fees that are changing on 1 April 2020 are going up by about 4%. Fees relating to filing, search, examination, renewal, excess claims and opposition are all affected. More details can be found here.
There are some exceptions to the 4% average increase. The regular fee for filing an appeal will increase by almost 20% to 2705 EUR, while the reduced appeal fee (applicable to natural persons, small- or medium-sized enterprises, non-profit organisations, universities or public research organisations) will increase by about 5%. Although the excess page fee is increasing by a mere one EUR, this does translate to a 6% increase.
For those interested in entering the European regional phase with an international (PCT) application within the next few months, it is worth noting that entering Europe before 1 April 2020 could save you at least 145 EUR on EPO official fees. At least 55 EUR could be saved if a direct European application is filed before 1 April 2020.
EPO renewal fees can be paid within a pre-payment period running up to a renewal due date. Such a pre-payment period equates to 6 months for the 3rd renewal fee and 3 months for the 4th and subsequent renewal fees. Therefore, you may want to consider paying, or instructing your patent renewal provider to pay, any EPO renewal fees having a pre-payment period starting before 1 April 2020. New EPO divisional applications also incur back-renewal fees at filing, in addition to other fees, so one could also take advantage of EPO official fee savings if a divisional is filed before 1 April 2020.
For any specific questions about the 2020 EPO official fee increase, please contact your Reddie & Grose attorney.
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.