EPO fee reduction takes effect as of 1 April 2018
The European Patent Office announces that fee reductions for patent applications entered into force on 1 April 2018. The measures will lower a number of costs in the patent application and examination process, and help reinforce a more business friendly-approach in support of innovation.
Acting on a proposal of the European Patent Office, the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, had approved the fee reduction for patent applications in December 2017.
"The EPO's mission is to support innovation, competitiveness and growth through a commitment to high quality and efficiency," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "A carefully controlled fee policy is an essential element in this, and thanks to gains made through internal reforms, we have kept our costs stable and can now make our services more business-friendly and affordable for users".
Most importantly, the EPO will not apply the inflation-based biennial fee adjustment for 2018-2020 which is expected to results in savings of EUR 15 million in 2018 alone.
Secondly, the EPO is reducing both its PCT search and examination fees by EUR 100 each, which will bring about savings of EUR 7 million to the users in the next year.
Thirdly, the EPO is increasing the existing discount on the European examination fees for files already examined by the EPO in PCT proceedings from currently 50% to 75%. In real terms, the increased discount on European examination fees means applicants will now only pay EUR 456.24 instead of EUR 912.50. For applicants that are using the EPO for search and examination in the PCT phase and that are entering the European phase, the various fee changes potentially result in a decrease of EUR 656, which is a 14% reduction over the current situation.
The combined effect of all reduced fees is estimated to result in a total of EUR 25 million in savings for the user community in 2018 alone.