Düsseldorf, December 7, 2017 – Fees for patent procedures before the European Patent Office (EPO) are to be reduced. According to the current EPO President Benoît Battistelli, the EPO thus wishes to provide an additional incentive for applicants and to promote innovation.
Regardless of inflation, some EPO fees have stayed on the same level since 2012. Furthermore, the adjustment of fees that was planned for 2018 to 2020 will not be enforced, according to the EPO President. The search fee and the fee for international patent applications (PCT applications) are to be lowered by 100 EUR, which is the equivalent of 5%.
In addition, the examination fee for European applications, which have already been tested in PCT proceedings, should be reduced by 75% (rather than by 50% as before). Applicants, who use the EPO as an international search and assessment authority, will therefore be disburdened by around 14% compared to the current situation. The additional discounts are to continue to apply for certain applicants, such as small businesses and universities.
Cohausz & Florack (C&F) welcomes the planned measures of the EPO: “They will surely encourage even more innovative enterprises to invest in intellectual property rights,” says Hendrik Bücker, Patent Attorney and Partner at C&F.
In addition to the costs, the EPO also wishes to reduce its administrative burden. It is thus that a new XML-based submission process should be set up in the next few months. This will give applicants the opportunity to submit their documents in docx format. The current transmittal fee of 130 EUR will then no longer apply.
The EPO Board of Directors, which is composed of representatives from the Member States, wishes to make a decision on the proposed changes in December 2017.