Navigating the 2024 EPO fee increase for patent holders

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March 13, 2024

The European Patent Office (EPO) regularly reviews and adjusts its fees, which directly impacts patent applicants and holders. The upcoming fee increase, effective from 1 April 2024, marks a significant turn in this cycle. This article explores the specifics of the EPO's fee adjustments and highlights these changes and their implications. 

Which fees will change?

EPO has announced a major change to its fee structure aimed at improving the efficiency of the patent application and renewal process. One notable change is an increase in patent renewal fees, affecting patent holders' budgets and financial planning. 

There will be an annual increase in patent renewal fees for all yearly amounts with the exception of the 6th and 10th years. The most significant increase is going to be in the 3rd year by 30% and in the 4th year by 28%. The fees in the following years will be adjusted by different amounts with a less significant percentage. The patent renewal fee adjustment aims to balance innovation support with operational sustainability. 

Changes in EPO patent renewal fees from 1st of April
                                       Source: https://www.epo.org/xx/legal/official-journal/2024/01/a3/2024-a3.pdf

Impact on application and examination fees

The EPO's fee increase covers not only patent renewal fees but also filing and examination fees, which are key elements in the patent registration process. The filing fee, a mandatory requirement for filing a patent application, will increase by 4%, while the examination fee will rise by 5%. This increase in costs highlights the importance of efficient patent management and strategic planning in IP portfolios.

Supporting small entities and SMEs

EPO has introduced measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), micro-enterprises, natural persons, non-profit organizations, universities, and public research organizations with less than five applications in the last five years. 

Despite the general fee increases, these entities may be eligible for reduced fees, including a 30% reduction on filing and examination fees with special considerations for filings in official languages of a contracting state other than English, French, or German. 

This initiative is part of the EPO's commitment to fostering innovation across all sectors of the economy, ensuring that smaller entities remain competitive in the global patent landscape.

Optimizing your patent renewal fees

By keeping up to date with these changes and exploring efficient patent renewal solutions, patent holders can ensure that their innovations remain protected without compromising financial sustainability. 

As the patent landscape continues to evolve, embracing innovative management solutions like PatentRenewal.com becomes essential for maintaining a cost-effective IP portfolio.

Request a free price comparison to see the cost benefits of our service or book a meeting with one of our experts if you are interested in how PatentRenewal.com can offer an optimized IP management to you.