Grace period

Grace period or surcharge period comes after the regular renewal period, during which the inventor can still renew their patent with a penalty fee.

This penalty fee can be fixed, or can increase with every day passed after the original deadline. The duration of the grace period can vary from country to country, however in almost all jurisdictions worldwide this period is usually 6 months.

Keep in mind that not all jurisdictions provide a period of grace for inventors to renew, and even if they do, the penalty fees can be significantly higher than the original renewal fees.

In order to demonstrate how a surcharge period works, let's take a look at a few scenarios:

In the first scenario, the patent will expire on 1st of June. Due to failure of payment, the patent holder will have to pay an additional fixed fee (€100) with every starting month. In this example, if you pay between 1st of June and 1st of July you need to pay the original renewal fee plus one additional fixed penalty fee (€100). If you would pay on the 15th of September, you would pay plus four additional fixed penalty fees (€400) on top of your original renewal fee. Failure to pay this, your patent will expire 6 months after the renewal due date, on 1st of December.

In the second scenario, similar to the first, the patent will expire on 1st of June, however, in this case the penalty fee (€100) increases by 50% every month. In this example, if you pay between 1st of June and 1st of July you pay an additional penalty fee (€100). On the other hand, if paid on the 15th of September, you would pay the original penalty fee (€100) for June, but since the penalty fee increases by 50% every month, you would have to pay €150 for July, €225 for August, and €337,5 for September. All in all, you would pay €812.5 on top of your original renewal fee. Failure to pay this, your patent will expire 6 months after the renewal due date, on the 1st of December.

In the third scenario, the patent will expire on 1st of June, but now in the first 2 months of the surcharge period there are no additional penalties, but from the third month, there is a penalty (€200) which increases by 100% with every starting month. In this example, if you pay between 1st of June and 1st of July you only need to pay the original renewal fee and no penalty fees. On the other hand, if pay on 15th of September, you would pay the penalty fee (€200) for August, but since the penalty fee increases by 100% every month after, you would have to pay €400 for September. In summary, you would pay a €600 penalty on top of your original renewal fee. Your patent will expire 6 months after the renewal due date, on 1st of December.

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