How to Renew a Patent in France?
Renew a French patent validated through the European Patent Office (EPO):
If your patent is a European patent, which was granted by the European Patent Office and then validated in France, you can maintain the patent by paying an annual maintenance fee to the EPO. The first renewal fee of a patent application is due on the second anniversary of the patent's filing date and thereafter, renewal fees are due on an annual basis. Once a patent is granted by the EPO and validated in France, the renewal fee is paid to the Intellectual Property Office of France (INPI). The rules which apply to a national French patent, will also apply to an EP patent in France. For more information on renewal fees related to the EPO, please visit another one of our articles on this link; here.
For example, if the filing date of a patent is 2017-06-15 and grant date is 2023-04-25, you will have to settle the renewal fee with the EPO starting from 2019-06-30 onwards until 2022-06-30. From 2023 onwards, you will have to settle the renewal fee with the French Patent Office.
Renew a national patent with the French Patent Office:
In order to maintain a patent application in France, a renewal fee must be paid to the Intellectual Property Office of France (INPI) on an annual basis. The first renewal fee of the patent is added to the filing fee, after which, the renewal fee will be due annually starting from the first anniversary of the patent’s filing date. Renewal fees in France always fall on the last day of the month, which is when the original filing date of the application falls.
For example, if the filing date of a patent is 2017-06-15, you will only have to settle the renewal fee starting from 2018-06-30 onwards.
Renewal Fees by Intellectual Property Type
In France, there are three types of intellectual property in which you settle renewal fees for, these are known as utility certificates and designs.
Intellectual Property Type #1 - Utility Certificates
A French utility certificate can be obtained for a period of 10 years from the filing date. The term of protection is 10 years, but was previously 6 years. The first renewal fee is due exactly 2 years from the filing date of the application and is paid annually until the 6th renewal period. The renewal fee is 19 EUR for the second,third, fourth and fifth renewal year. The renewal fee then becomes 57 EUR for the sixth renewal year.
If one wishes to extend the duration of the protection beyond 6 years to a total of 10 years for patents that were filed before May 22, 2019, a one time renewal fee of 72 EUR will apply for the 7th renewal period.
Intellectual Property type #2 - French Designs
A French design right can/is valid for 25 years, from the filing date. The renewal fees of a design right are due after the fifth, tenth, fifteenth and twentieth year. Initially, a French design is protected for 5 years. In order to maintain the protection beyond the initial 5 year period, one will have to pay renewal fees at the beginning of the 6th year in order to extend the protection term of a further 5 years.
Renewal fees are required with each registered design, even if these are designs of multiple applications. The renewal fees in France will always fall on the last day of the month, and in this case, which is when the term of protection ends. If the requested maintenance fees are not settled by the due date, an additional 6 month grace period will be applied in order for the settlement to take place. If a patent enters the 6 month grace period, an increase to the original renewal fees will be applied.