The EPO has announced their biennial fee increases for payments made on or after 1 April 2022, which has resulted in an average increase in fees of around 2.5%. More detail can be found here. However, some notable fees, including additional page fees, international search fees, publication fees and the fee for further processing of a delayed payment, remain unchanged. Some of the largest proportional increases are in the fees for filing an application, both through the EPO’s online filing system and by other means, and renewal fees will also increase by an average of 3%.
The planned increase to the grant fee, originally announced in January 2019, has also increased further by about 2.8%, but the date for the implementation of this increased fee has still not been announced. A 6 month grace period for payment of the old fees after 1 April 2022 is also included, where the fee shall still be considered to be validly paid if the deficit is made within two months of an invitation to do so by the EPO.
As part of the announcement, the EPO also announced that the fee for a supplementary European search on an international application for which the international search report or a supplementary international search report was drawn up by the Austrian Patent Office, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, the Swedish Intellectual Property Office, the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, the Nordic Patent Institute or the Visegrad Patent Institute shall be reduced by €1185. However, this fee reduction can only apply once for a supplementary European search, regardless of the overall fee payable. This provision will be implemented for international applications filed up to and including 31 March 2024 for which the fee for supplementary European search is paid on or after 1 April 2022.
Given these fee increases will affect a wide variety of actions carried out during patent prosecution, where possible it may be prudent to complete any actions associated with an increase in fees before 1st April 2022, including the payment of renewal fees, filing of new applications at the EPO and entries into the PCT regional phase. If you would like more information about how these fee increases will affect your patent portfolio, please consult your patent attorney. Wynne-Jones are able to advise you on how best to respond in advance of these fee increases, including through use of our bespoke renewals service.
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