Adjustments to UKIPO and EPO Fees from April
【Conor Stuart／IP Observer Reporter】
The UK Intellectual Property Office announced that certain patent fee changes will be in effect from April 6, including adjustments to renewal fees, application fees, search fees and examination fees. They’ve also added new fees, including a 25% surcharge for paying the application fee after filing, an excess claims fee, an excess page fee and a grant fee.
The EPO has also announced that it ended the discounted search fee for certain Euro-PCT cases from April 1, as well as raising appeal fees, electronic filing fees and offering discounted prices for electronic submissions in character coded formats.
The UK application fee has been raised by £40, from £20 to £60 and a 25% surcharge will be levied for late application fees.
Search fees have been raised across the board by £20. Where an international application has already been searched in the international phase, it is now eligible for a reduction of £30, this means that these kinds of applications are now subject to a search fee of £120, as opposed to the previous reduced fee of £100. The search fee for other applications, has been raised from £130 to £150. The search fee has also increased by £20 for each claim over 25 for search requests under section 17(1) made on or after 6 April, 2018. This surcharge does not apply to supplementary search requests in the case of an amendment to an application or a correction to documents relating to an application (section 17(8)) or a search of a further invention in the event that the examiner believes that an application relates to a second invention (section 17(6)).
Substantive examination fees have also been raised by £20, from £80 to £100. If the description is over 35 pages long, an additional £10 is required for each excess page. The page total and the excess page fee for non-English PCT applications entering the UK national phase is based on the English translation.
Once an application has met all the requirements of the Patent Act and the Patent Rules, the number of excess pages and claims will be counted and any increase from the substantive examination fee will be payable as a grant fee.
Renewals from year 12 to year 20 have also been increased by £10 each.
EPO Renewals Adjustment
PCT applications entering the European stage, also referred to as Euro-PCT applications, previously qualified for a €190 discount for European search fees if they had received an international search report from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Japanese Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office, China's State Intellectual Property Office, the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property or IP Australia. This discount has been withdrawn as of April 1.
However, to encourage applications in XML/DOCX format and to lower the costs of OCR document conversion, the EPO is rewarding applicants who make their applications in these formats with a discount to application fees for ordinary European patent applications and Euro-PCT applications, lowering them from €120 to €90; if all corrections and amendments and all other documents are in XML/DOCX format, the grant fee is also subject to €100 discount, reducing it from €925 to €825.
EPO appeal fees rose from €1,880 to €2,255 from April 1, however, if the applicant is a small or medium-sized business, a non-profit, a university or a public research institute and fulfills the EPO's qualification requirements, they are exempt from the raise to the appeal fee.
The current version of the draft agreement on Brexit will see European IP laws extended until the end of the transition period if agreement is reached. The UK also recently ratified the UPC agreement in late April, although its future participation in the Unified Patent Court will be a matter for ongoing negotiations.