EPO official fees to increase on 1 April 2020

EPO official fees to increase on 1 April 2020

- How will this affect your cases? Can you do anything to avoid the fee increases?

The EPO adjusts its fees every two years. The EPO has now announced the next set of fee adjustments, which will come into effect on 1 April 2020. Full details of the fee increases are listed here and here. Overall, the EPO has implemented a general inflation-based 4% increase in official fees.

I want to file a Euro-PCT application - how will this affect it?

For Euro-PCT applications, the filing charges are:

Fee

Fee code

Current amount

New amount

Increase

Filing fee

020

EUR 120

EUR 125

EUR 5

Search fee

002

EUR 1,300

EUR 1,350

EUR 50

Designation fee

005

EUR 585

EUR 610

EUR 25

Examination fee

006

EUR 1,635

EUR 1,700

EUR 65

Total

 

EUR 3,640

EUR 3,785

EUR 145

Therefore, the basic charge for a Euro-PCT application where the ISA is not the EPO will increase by EUR 145.

What can I do to avoid the fee increases?

It is possible to file a European application early (i.e. before 1 April 2020) and pay the current official fees. Do also remember that the Year 03 renewal fee can be paid up to six months early, and so this can also provide an opportunity for a further saving (see below).

My PCT application is not in English - do I need to file the translation as well?

The deadline for filing the translation is the usual 31 months deadline (Rule 159(1)(a) EPC). Therefore, it is possible to pay the official fees early (before 1 April 2020) and file the translation later (but by the 31 months deadline).

What about EP convention filings and divisionals applications?

For EP-direct applications, the same basic strategy applies. The application can be filed and official fees paid before 1 April 2020, thereby avoiding the increased fees.

For EP convention filings requiring a translation, the translation can be filed within two months of the date of filing the European application (Rule 6(1) EPC). If the translation is not filed within this time limit then the EPO will issue a 'Notice of missing parts' communication setting a further two month period to file the translation - there is no penalty fee. Therefore, if required, it is possible to file the translation at least four months after the date of filing the application.

What about renewal fees?

The official fees for renewals are also subject to the inflation-based 4% increase.


Fee

Fee code

Current amount

New amount

Increase

Year 03 renewal fee

033

EUR 470

EUR 490

EUR 20

Year 04 renewal fee

034

EUR 585

EUR 610

EUR 25

Year 05 renewal fee

035

EUR 820

EUR 855

EUR 35

Year 06 renewal fee

036

EUR 1,050

EUR 1,090

EUR 40

Year 07 renewal fee

037

EUR 1,165

EUR 1,210

EUR 45

Year 08 renewal fee

038

EUR 1,280

EUR 1,330

EUR 50

Year 09 renewal fee

039

EUR 1,395

EUR 1,450

EUR 55

Year 10+ renewal fee

040-050

EUR 1,575

EUR 1,640

EUR 65

 

Renewal fees for Year 04 to Year 20 can be paid up to three months early (Rule 51(1) EPC), and the Year 03 renewal fee can be paid up to six months early. Therefore, it is possible to make a saving on any Year 02 - Year 20 renewal fees due up until 30 June 2020 by paying them before 1 April 2020.

Similarly, it is possible to make a saving on any Year 03 renewal fees due up until 30 September 2020 by paying them before 1 April 2020.

Conclusions

If you want to avoid the fee increases by filing a European application early or paying a renewal fee early, or if you have any questions then please get in touch with your usual Wynne-Jones contact.

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