The EPO has introduced a new fee structure due to come into force on 1 April 2009. The changes and their significance are explained briefly below. For a more detailed review, please see our website notice here.
The new fee structure applies to all European patent applications, including divisional applications, filed on or after 1 April 2009 and to all international applications entering the European regional phase on or after that date.
Two-tier claims fees
For European patent applications with a filing date or date of entry into the European regional phase of 1 April 2009 or later, a two-tier excess claims fee structure will apply:
For each claim from the 16th to the 50th: EUR 200
For the 51st and each subsequent claim: EUR 500
· If you wish to file a claim set having more than 50 claims, we would recommend filing the application before 1 April 2009. For applications containing 16 or more claims, we suggest trying to reduce the number of claims; we can provide advice on strategies for achieving this.
Additional fee for excess pages
As of 1 April 2009, excess page fees will be payable at the time of paying the filing fee. The fee is set at EUR 12 for the 36th and each subsequent page of the application.
Pages forming part of a sequence listing that complies with WIPO Standard ST. 25 and that is presented as a separate part of the description are excluded from the calculation.
· For any application that is over 35 pages long, we would recommend considering filing before 1 April 2009 to avoid paying the excess page fees on filing. However, it is worth noting that if such an application proceeds to grant, the excess page fees will be due on grant.
Flat fee for grant
The grant fee for European patent applications filed or entering the European regional phase on or after 1 April 2009 will be a flat fee of EUR 790.
· Any application that is filed on or after 1 April 2009 and which proceeds to grant will be subject to the new flat grant fee; no page fees will need to be paid at grant.
Flat designation fee
For European patent applications filed or entering the European regional phase on or after 1 April 2009, a single flat designation fee of EUR 500 will secure the designation of all available EPC contracting states, unless individual designations are expressly withdrawn.
· For applicants wishing to designate five or fewer contracting states, a cost saving will be made by filing before 1 April 2009.
What to do now
As the new fee structure will apply to any applications that are filed on or after 1 April 2009, it is recommended that applicants that could be adversely affected by the new fees consider taking action before this date. It is anticipated that there will be a high volume of applications filed prior to 1 April 2009.
If you have any specific questions regarding the fee changes and how they may affect you, please contact Andrea Ruhrmann at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Alison Care email@example.com. Visit the website at www.kstrode.co.uk.
© Kilburn & Strode, 2008
The information contained in this alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice. Neither the APLF nor the author intends to create an attorney client relationship by providing this information to you through this message.
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