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EPO fee increases

15 March 2024

The European Patent Office (EPO) is introducing a new schedule of official fees, which will apply to payments made from Monday 1 April 2024. The new fees represent an increase of, on average, 4%. There are, however, some notable exceptions, with the third, fourth and fifth year renewal fees increasing by 30%, 28% and 8% respectively. Subsequent renewals have not changed significantly. As such, the EPO appears to be targeting recovery of renewal fee income that has reduced in recent years, due to a reduction of the average time to reach grant.

What does this mean for you?

Since renewals can be paid as early as three months in advance of their due date or, in the case of the third year renewal, six months in advance, applicants should consider paying as many renewal fees as possible before 1 April 2024 to avoid these increases. Applicants should also consider taking any procedural actions associated with fee payments, including submitting new filings, and particularly submitting divisional applications, before 1 April 2024.

Lewis Silkin’s UK and Irish offices are open until Thursday 28 March before closing for Easter and reopening on Tuesday 2 April. We would therefore appreciate receiving your instructions as soon as possible. A summary of the main fee changes is as follows:

  Fee before 1/4/24 (EUR)  Fee on or after 1/4/24 (EUR)  Increase (%) 
Filing  135 135 
Search 1,460  1,520 
Designation 660 685
Examination 1,840  1,915 
Grant and printing 1,040  1,080 
Opposition 880 880 
Appeal 2,015 2,015
Claims (16th to 15th) 265 275 4
Third year renewal 530 690 30
Fourth year renewal 660 845 28
Fifth year renewal  925 1,000 8
Sixth year renewal  1,180 1,155 -2

The EPO will also be extending its fee-reduction scheme, which currently offers discounts to certain qualifying entities having a residence or principal place of business in an EPC contracting state. From 1 April 2024, non-profit organisations, universities, public research organisations, natural persons, and so-called ‘microenterprises’, (having fewer than ten employees, and an annual turnover and/or balance sheet of below €2 million) will be entitled to a 30% reduction on the major filing and prosecution fees, irrespective of nationality or domicile. The discounts are applicable provided the applicant has filed no more than five European patent applications within the five year period preceding the filing date or the date of entry of a PCT application into the European regional phase. Where there are multiple applicants, each applicant must fulfil the criteria above, in order to qualify for the fee reduction.

Further details are available here.

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