The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that it will be increasing its official fees from 1 April 2022; any fees paid after this date will be charged at the new rates. The increase in fees has not been uniformly applied, instead the various fees have been increased by between 0% and 5%. As some EPO fees can be paid in advance of the due dates, this is a good time for applicants to consider whether they can save money by paying fees before the fee increase.
Fees Incurred on Filing or Entry into European Regional Phase
Applicants considering filing a new European application on or around 1 April 2022, or with a PCT application in the international phase that is due to enter the European regional phase on or after 1 April 2022, may be able to save money by filing such cases earlier, and paying the associated fees before the fee increase. The key fee increases relevant for these acts are detailed in the table below:We recommend applicants check their pending PCT applications now to decide whether to enter the European regional phase early to take advantage of the cost savings. By way of example, payment of the filing, search, examination and designation fees before the fee increase would result in a saving of 115 EUR relative to payment after the fee increase.
Renewal fees for European applications can be validly paid up to 3 months in advance of the due date (6 months for the 3rd year renewal fee). We therefore suggest that applicants with renewal fees becoming due on or before 30 June 2022 (30 September 2022 for the 3rd year renewal fee) review whether it would be beneficial to pay their renewal fees before the fee increase comes into effect. The changes to the European renewal fees are outlined below: