EPO Announces Fee Increases05/05/2008
The fees for a European patent application will increase on April 1, 2008 and again on April 1, 2009. Some of the increases are as follows:
- The fees for excess claims will increase. Currently, a fee of 45 Euros is charged for each claim in excess of 10. On April 1, 2008, this will rise to 200 Euros for each claim in excess of 15. On April 1, 2009, an additional fee will be imposed of 500 Euros for each claim in excess of 50 (claims between 16 and 50 will still be charged 200 Euros each). These fees apply to applications filed in Europe or entering the regional phase in Europe from a PCT application on or after April 1, 2008 or April 1, 2009.
- A fee of 12 euros for each page of an application (not including sequence listings) in excess of 35 pages will apply on April 1, 2008.
- The charge for late payment of a fee will increase from the current 10% of the missed fee to 50%.
- Annual maintenance fees will increase substantially, especially for pending European applications that have been pending for several years. For example, the fee for year 5 (counted from the European or International Filing date, as applicable) will increase from 450 Euros to 700 Euros.
In light of these increases, applicants who are considering applying for a European patent application would be well advised to do so before April 1, 2008, especially if the application is lengthy or contains substantially more than 15 claims. As well, the increase in penalties for late payment of fees provides a strong incentive to ensure that all fee payment deadlines are timely met.