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Reduced European Patent Office Fees for Micro-entities

Date: 14 March 2024

The European Patent Office (EPO) is implementing a new scheme that will allow micro-entities to claim a fee reduction when applying for patents. This new scheme will be put into action on the 1st April 2024. Micro-entities, natural persons, universities and non-profit organizations will be able to claim a 30% reduction in all principal fees in the patent application and grant process.

 

The fee reduction is limited to five patent applications in the last five years.

 

This scheme is being introduced to further support small sized applicants financially, in order to help them obtain patents.  The new scheme complements other language-related support measures that apply to small and medium-sized entities first filing in languages other than English, French and German.

 

 

What is a micro-entity?

 

A micro-entity is defined according to the EU definition, which is a company that:

 

  • Has fewer than 10 employees and

  • Has an annual turnover or balance sheet below €2 million.

 

Micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises: definition and scope | EUR-Lex (europa.eu)

 

The numbers

 

Fee

Regular Official Fee (€)

Micro-entity Fee with the 30% reduction (€)

Savings (€)

Filing fee

135

94.50

40.50

European search fee

1520

1064

456

Examination fee

1915

1340.50

574.50

Designation fee

685

479.50

205.50

Grant fee

1080

756

324

Renewal fee for Year 3

690

483

207

Renewal fee for Year 4

845

591.50

253.50

Renewal fee for Year 5

1000

700

300

 

Fees for excess pages and for divisional applications are also reduced.

 

The examination fee may be reduced twice under the micro-entity-related support scheme of Rule 7a(3) EPC: first by a reduction of the examination fee, and then additionally by a reduction of the already-paid international search fee (after accounting for any refund from re-use of any earlier search). 

 

Fee reductions can be applied to the appropriate fees only on or after the 1st April 2024. These reductions are only available to a company whilst is it a micro-entity. If the status of the company changes, the EPO must be informed.

 

​​New, simplified fee system supports small applicants with 30% discounts​ | Epo.org

 

Comment

 

If we are already prosecuting a patent application for you or your client and you believe the applicant is  micro-entity, please be sure to let us know as soon as possible.  We may be able to make a saving on a fee that is imminent.  Please be sure to tell us before we file your next European patent application.

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