February 15, 2018

European Patent Organisation updates 2018

The European Patent Office strives to modernize its workflow by introducing a new format of patent filings. This will be reflected in the new schedule of charges which the Administrative Council has informed about. Updated EPO fees along with some new penalties are to come into force as of April 1, 2018.

It is noteworthy to mention that the previous fee changes, which were implemented 2 years ago, in April 2016, were to neutralize the inflation, therefore the overall increase was about 1-2%. Now, the upcoming adjustments represent the aspiration of the EPO to digitalize the process of the patent registration rather than to put the fees in line with the inflation.

To stimulate filings in a character-coded format, the corresponding fee is set at EUR 90, while the online filing fee in other formats remains stable - EUR 120. Also, to depreciate paper filings, the corresponding fee is going to be increased from EUR 210 to EUR 250.

Besides, when paying a fee for grant and publication, if any amendments, corrections or translations are filed online but not in a character-coded format the following surcharges may apply: EUR 100 will apply if payment is made between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019; EUR 200 will apply if payment is made on or after April 1, 2019.

Along with the mentioned above changes, the EPO keeps promoting itself as an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). If an applicant submits a request for an international preliminary examination on or after April 1, 2018, the subsequent fee for examination when entering European regional phase will be reduced by 75% and not by 50% as it is now. Besides, the fee itself will be decreased by EUR 100 (from EUR 1930 to EUR 1830).

This is not a complete list of the official fee changes for implementation in 2018, and more details will be published when they come into force. However, apart from the fee changes there is another prospect of the EPO for noting. While further publication in the Official Journal is still pending, the news on the EP validation in Cambodia has been already posted applicable for applications filed on or after March 1, 2018. As mentioned before, the European Patent Organisation is not limited to the EU members states, and that allows expanding the coverage of the European Patent to other jurisdictions. The corresponding validation agreement between Cambodian and EPO representatives was signed on January 23, 2017, with validation fee being set at EUR 180. The same rate applies to EP validation in Tunisia, when the corresponding fees for Moldova and Morocco are EUR 200 and EUR 240 respectively.

More information as to the upcoming changes will be provided once they come into force. As for now, we invite you visit our applicant’s guide if any information as to patent filing is required.

Author: Jessica Chester