European Patent Office fee changes enter into force on 1 April 2009. European Patent Applications and international patent applications entering into Europe that are filed on or after 1 April 2009 will be effected by the changes. Three fees will change:
– Excess claims fees. These are the fees which become due when an application has more than 15 claims.
– Designation fees. These become due when one or more European contracting states are designated.
– A printing fee. This will now be payable on filing for applications containing more than 35 pages.
The most significant fee increase is in relation to the excess claims fees that will be payable on those applications containing more than 50 claims.
The fee changes will also apply at grant of the patent. If an application is in order for grant and has more claims in it than originally filed then excess claims fees will have to be paid for those extra claims. For the increased fees to apply the application that is in order for grant will need to contain more than 50 claims. The only way to avoid the increase is to pay the excess claims fees before 1 April 2009.