The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced a rise in many of its official fees (EPO Official Journal). The timing is in line with previous fee increases taking place biennially; most of the affected fees are increased by around 3%.
The new rates will apply to official fees paid on or after 1st April 2022 and so for some fees where the applicant has a choice over the timing of payment, savings may be made by proceeding before April.
Consider anticipating payments
We would particularly recommend clients to consider the savings that can be made by anticipating payments for:
Renewal fees: fall due on the last day of the month containing the anniversary of the date of filing of the European patent application. The payment can be made 6 months in advance in respect of the third year and 3 months in advance for the other years.
EPO regional phase: consider anticipating the fee payments in respect of pending PCT applications. It should be kept in mind that without an explicit request for early processing, the EPO will wait until the 31-month period has expired to process the international application. Accordingly, the payments can be made early without actually anticipating the prosecution of the application.
Divisional applications: make a decision on the opportunity of filing a divisional application before April and save on filing and search fees as well as on the (often many) back renewal fees due for the divisional application.
For more information on the increase in fees, and to discuss your options in filing early to save costs, please get in touch with your usual Office Freylinger attorney, or contact us here.