There’s a new EPO Fee increase that will be effective on April 1, so we thought we’d take a moment this week to look into the details and help you understand when/if you will be paying more.
Let’s dive in!
The Big Picture
You’ll find that the increases impact several areas of the application, granting, and maintenance process – but not all. The biggest impacts will be felt by IP owners paying year 3 or 4 renewals, but new filers will notice the increases as well. While nobody likes increases, the average increase is 4-5%, which the EPO points out is less than inflation.
Our focus is the increases, but micro-entities do get a bit of good news. They will receive a 30% reduction in all main fees in the patent grant procedure, provided they’ve filed fewer than five applications in the last five years.
Application and Grant Costs
The cost of several filing and granting activities will increase on April 1.
The search fee will increase from 1,460 EUR to 1,520 EUR
The fee for the 16th to 50th claim increases from 265 EUR to 275 EUR
The designation fee will increase from 660 EUR to 685 EUR
Examination fees will increase from 1,840 EUR to 1,915 EUR
The fee for granting and publishing increases from 1,040 to 1,080 EUR
IP Owners will see a proportionally larger increase in renewal fees when compared with the application and grant fees. The most noticeable increases are with the earlier years of renewals.
The 3rd year renewal increases from 530 EUR to 690 EUR
The 4th year renewal increases from 660 EUR to 845 EUR
The 5th year renewal increases from 925 EUR to 1,000 EUR
The 6th year renewal increases from 1,180 EUR to 1,155 EUR
The 7th year renewal increases from 1,305 EUR to 1,310 EUR
The 8th year renewal increases from 1,570 EUR to 1,620 EUR
The 9th year renewal increases from 1,440 EUR to 1,465 EUR
The 10th year and onward renewals remain at 1,775 EUR
What it all means
Nobody likes cost increases, but these are unlikely to break your budget. A large portfolio is unlikely to have more than a few hundred year 3 and year 4 renewals coming due in the EP, meaning the increase is probably less than 20k for a multi-million-dollar portfolio paid quarterly. If you only have 10 or 15 EP patents due for renewal, the impact will be a few thousand dollars.
You can certainly work with your annuity vendor to pull payments forward if you have a substantial EP portfolio, but the benefits are going to be pretty small unless your volume is substantial.