Increased Fee structure of European Patent Office (EPO) effective from April 1, 2020
The increased fee of the European Patent Office (EPO) comes into effect from Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The EPO is known to increase its fees every two years and the last revision was made in 2018. This decision is taken by the European Patent Office’s Administrative Council on 12 December 2019 (CA/D 12/19) by amending Articles 2 and 7 of the Rules relating to Fees. Here’s a quick take on this revision of fees.
Broadly, we can categorize the fee structure into two broad groups – (i) basic patent application fee, and (ii) additional patent-related fee. The basic patent application fee would include all such activities which are required for filing and maintaining a patent or patent application – this fee includes fees for activities such as filing a European Patent Application, fee for additional pages or claims, examination fee, renewal fee, and also includes filing an international application. While the additional patent-related fee would include all such activities which are not ordinarily part of a filing and prosecuting a patent application and are availed by some depending on the specific requirements of a case by the application.
Once we categorize them like above, it is observed that the fee increases for the first category, the basic activities, is very nominal, averaging around 4%, closely corresponding to the inflation rate over the two years in the European region. For instance, filing an offline patent application in EPO (direct or through PCT route) will now cost €10 more at €260 (up 4%), while filing online will cost €5 more at €125 (up 4.17%). The designation fee for all contracting states has been increased by €25 to €610 (up 4.27%). Renewal fees for each year have been increased starting with €20 for 3rd year (to €490), going up to €65 for 10th year and subsequent years (to € 1, 640 per year). A similar revision has been made for other basic activities, viz., Examination Fee by 4.1% (to €1900), the fee for grant and publication by 3.8% (to €960), opposition fee by 3.8% (to €815).
The second category, that is, non-essential activities has however seen some significant increase in percentage terms. Filing an appeal for instance would cost €450 more for an entity, an increase of 19.96% to €2,705, while the appeal fee for natural persons, small and medium-sized enterprises, non-profit organizations, universities, or public research institutions has only been increased by 4% to €1,955. Few other activities have seen a price revision of more than 100%. The fee for obtaining a certified copy, such as for a priority document or patent certificate, has jumped by 110% from €50 to €105 while obtaining an additional copy of documents cited in a search report or communication of information from the files has increased by 162.50% from €40 to €105.
You can access the concerned EPO notification here.