Everything you need to know about paying your patent renewal fees in France

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.

Written and Edited by Kumari Rupali Bansal & Christina Botes

Patent Renewal Fee Intervals in France

Starting from the 1st anniversary of the filing date, patent renewal fees need to be paid annually to maintain a patent. For further clarification, please refer to the cost breakdown below;

Year-by-year Patent Renewal Fees at the French Patent Office

The patent renewal fees increase each year;

Patent Year Official renewal fee for patent (EUR)
1
2 38
3 38
4 38
5 38
6 76
7 96
8 136
9 180
10 220
11 260
12 300
13 350
14 400
15 460
16 520
17 580
18 650
19 730
20 800
Patent Year
Official renewal fee for patent (EUR)
3
490
4
610
5
1090
6
1210
7
1330
8
1450
9
1640
10
1640
11
1640
12
1640
13
1640
14
1640
15
1640
16
1640
17
1640
18
1640
19
1640
20
1640

France Patent Renewal Fees FAQ

When is the first patent renewal fee due in France?

National patent: The first renewal fee will be due on the first anniversary of the patent application’s filing date.

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. 

French patent validated through the European Patent Office (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).

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.

What happens to a French patent before it has been granted?

National patent: Prior to grant, the French patent application is in it’s filing stage. You will have to pay the renewal fee to the French patent office irrespective of whether the patent has been granted or not. The first renewal fee of a patent application is due on the first anniversary of the filing date. 

French patent validated through the European Patent Office (EPO): Prior to grant, the patent application is in its filing stage with the EPO. You can only begin paying the renewal fees to the EPO from the second anniversary of the patent's filing date and thereafter, renewal fees are due on an annual basis. However, once the patent has been granted and validated in France, the renewal fee is thereafter paid to the Intellectual Property Office of France (INPI).

What are the due dates and payment windows?

The payment window opens 12 months before the renewal fees are due. It is important to note that the renewal fees cannot be settled prior to this window opening. This rule is applicable to both national patents as well as to an EP patent in France. 

For example, if a renewal due date of a patent falls on 2021-07-31, the payment window to pay the renewal fee will open from 2020-08-01.

Can I get a discount fee on the renewal fee?

National patent: Yes, it is possible to get a discount on the renewal fee for a French patent -  all the way up until the 7th year. A reduction of up to 50% can be given up until the 5th year, and a 25% reduction up until the 7th year. If your patent or, the holder of a patent application is; 

1) an individual (physical person) 

2) someone who works for a non-profit organization in the education or research sector  

3) considered as a small or medium-sized enterprise.

French patent validated through the European Patent Office (EPO): It is not possible to get a discount on French patents validated through EPO. 

Can I renew a patent after I miss a renewal deadline?

National patent: Yes, it is possible to renew a French patent after its deadline. If you fail to pay the renewal fee in due time, a grace period of 6 months is given whereby the renewal fees can still be settled. However, when entering the grace period you will incur an increase of 50% to the original renewal fees. If you wish to maintain the patent, the (new) total renewal fee will have to be settled. 

For example, if a patent has a renewal due date of 30th May 2021 and the due date is missed, the patent will enter the grace period from June 1st, 2021. The new total will need to be settled within the 6 month grace period, and will be due by 30th November 2021. Failure to pay this fee within the grace period, will result in the patent being lapsed.

French patent validated through the European Patent Office (EPO): The same rule which applies to a national french patent for missing a renewal deadline also applies to an EP patent in France.

Do I need assistance from the local council?

It is not mandatory to make use of a local agent or representative when renewing a French patent. The French Patent Office accepts a number of payment methods such as; direct cash payments, credit cards, deposit accounts, and wire transfers. This rule is applicable to both national  patents as well as to an EP patent in France. 

How long do patents last in France?

In order to maintain a French patent, renewal fees need to be settled annually with the INPI. By settling the renewal fees, the patent is guaranteed to last for a maximum of 20 years from the filing date. This rule is applicable to both national  patents as well as to an EP patent in France.

Let us handle your patent renewal fees in France

PatentRenewal.com helps you manage your patent renewals in order for you to;

• Save on average $200-$500 per patent per year

• Check the status of renewals in real-time

• Stop worrying and achieve a setup that just works

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