European & UK Patent fee changes
As of April 2018, various fee changes are coming into effect at both the European Patent Office and UK Intellectual Property Office. These could have a significant impact in some cases, so applicants may wish to complete steps early, to avoid incurring the additional fees.
European Patent Office
Since 2006, the European search fee has been reduced for PCT applications entering the European regional phase, where the International search was conducted by the USPTO, the Australian Patent Office, or the patent offices of Japan, South Korea, or China. From 1 April 2018, this will no longer apply, so that the search fee will be due in full. This has the effect that the search fee will increase by €190 for such applications, if filed into the European regional phase on or after 1 April.
A further change at the point of filing is that the renewal fee for the third year may now be paid at the same time as filing the application into the European regional phase, which will streamline the process for applicants who wish to make use of this option.
Another change of note is to the fee for filing an appeal. The fee is being held at its previous rate for any appellant which is an SME, a non-profit organisation, a University, a public research organisation or a natural person, but other types of organisation will have to pay an increased fee.
For various actions taken on or after 6 April 2018, there are fee increases at the UKIPO. Most important is the introduction of a £20 fee for each claim after the first 25, and a £10 fee for each page of the description after the first 35. These fees will apply to both direct UK applications and the national phase filing of a PCT application. For some applications, this could represent a significant increase to the cost of filing in the UK, so applicants may prefer to take the necessary steps early, to avoid the fee increase.
There are also small increases in the search and examination fees, of £20 apiece.
If you are concerned about the impact that any of these changes may have on your applications, please get in touch with Rhiannon Turner or your usual contact at Greaves Brewster.