The European Patent Office has announced forthcoming changes to its fees, in line with its usual practice of biennial fee adjustments.
The January 2020 edition of the EPO Official Journal sets out further details of the fees that will be applicable from 1st April 2020. The changes typically lead to an increase of just under or just over 4% relative to the current official fees. The fee increases will apply to any fees that have not been paid prior to 1st April 2020.
Is it worth paying any fees early?
You might be able to pay certain mandatory fees on your European patent application before 1st April 2020, in order to take advantage of the slightly lower official fees.
This would be particularly advantageous if you are looking to file a Euro-PCT application to avoid increases to the application fee (+5 EUR), search fee (+50 EUR), examination fee (+65 EUR) and designation fee (+25 EUR), as well as any extra claims fees and/or extra page fees.
Overall, filing a Euro-PCT application by 31st March 2020 could save you at least 145 EUR in official fees, or potentially more for longer applications. There will also be some cost savings if you wish to file a direct European application by the same date.
If your current application relates to two or more inventions – typically highlighted by a “unity” objection in a European search report – then you should also consider filing any divisional applications for the other invention(s) by 31st March 2020. A divisional application takes the filing date of the original ‘parent’ European application, and any renewal fees for previous years need to be paid separately for a divisional application.
If, for example, your original European application was filed in February 2015, all of the 3rd to 6th-year renewal fees would need to be paid on a new divisional application, plus the divisional filing fee. In that scenario, you could save at least 130 EUR on those fees alone, in addition to savings on the application fee, search fee, etc. This all assumes that the divisional application is filed and the necessary fees paid before the fee increases take effect.
What’s the cost to file an application now?
If you would like an immediate quote for filing a Euro-PCT application by 31st March 2020, please enter your PCT application number (in the form PCT/XX20XX/XXXXXX) into our Euro-PCT calculator.
If your application is not written in English, French or German, then a translation will be required at additional cost. Please contact one of our attorneys directly if this applies to you, or if you are looking to file a direct European application or a divisional European application, and we would be pleased to provide a firm quotation.
For general advice on patents or other intellectual property, please give us a call and have an initial chat with one of our attorneys.