New fee reduction scheme by the EPO

The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced the usual review of official fees that will enter into force on April 1, 2024.

The review includes increases in some official fees and a reduction scheme designed to favor and support specific applicants, regardless of their nationality.

The main changes are:

Degree of reduction: 30 percent of the relevant official fees.

To whom it will apply: microentities, natural persons, nonprofit organizations, universities and public research institutions that have submitted fewer than 5 applications in the previous 5 years. In the case of multiple applicants, the reduction will only apply if all applicants meet this requirement.

What it will apply to: both direct European patent applications and European regional phases of PCT applications and will cover official fees due at the main stages of the patent granting process, specifically filing, designation, search (including supplementary), examination, grant, and annuity fees.

This reduction will be in addition to that already in force (equal to 30 percent of filing and examination fees) for SMEs, natural persons, nonprofit organizations, universities and public research institutions that file their patent application in a language of a contracting state to the European Patent Convention that is not an official language of the EPO, and with the flat-fee reimbursement of €500 of translation costs incurred in requesting the unitary effect.

 

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