EPO to increase official fees from 1 April 2024
The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced in the January issue of the EPO Journal that the official fee schedule for European patents will be revised from 1 April 2024, resulting in an increase of roughly 4% on most fees. Full details of the fees can be found here: Official Journal, 2024 (epo.org)
The new fees will apply to any fee payments made on or after 1 April 2024. Therefore, applicants could consider paying some fees early, so as to avoid the fee increases. There could be cost savings in filing an application early, or making early payments on existing patent applications.
For example, filing a divisional application is one of the largest costs involved in European prosecution because of the high back renewal fees. However, a divisional application can be filed at any point while the parent application is pending. Thus, filing a divisional application before the fee increase could result in a significant saving – particularly as 3rd and 4th year renewal fees have had one of the biggest fee increases.
Otherwise, paying a search or examination fee, which can also be significant, early could also make a saving.
For more information about the revisions to the official fee schedule, or to discuss any potential cost savings, please do get in touch.