The European Patent Office (EPO) usually reviews its fee structure every two years. In line with this, the EPO has announced that fees will increase from 1 April 2020. We have summarised the fee increases for many frequently paid fees in the table below, most of which are in the region of 4%.

However, the appeal fee has increased substantially from €2255 to €2705, which equates to an increase of around 20%. The EPO will continue to offer a reduced appeal fee to a) small and medium-sized enterprises; (b) natural persons; and (c) non-profit organisations, universities or public research organisations (i.e. appellants as defined in Rule 6(4) and (5) EPC). The appeal fee for these appellants will soon be €1955, which represents around a 4% increase to the current fee.

In addition, the fees for requesting a certified copy of a document (e.g. an application, a priority document, a patent certificate, etc.) and for ordering additional copies of documents cited in a search report have increased dramatically (by 110% and 162.5%, respectively).

On the other hand, the fees for filing an international application and for requesting international search, supplementary international search and preliminary examination of an international application remain unchanged.

Full details of the EPO's planned fee rises can be found here and here.

Fee type New fee as of 1 April 2020 Fee increase
Online filing fee (EP direct or EP regional phase entry) €125 4.2% (+€5)
Additional filing fee (for 36th and each subsequent page) €16 6.7% (+€1)
Excess claims fee (for the 16th to 50th claims) €245 4.3% (+€10)
Excess claims fee (for each claim in excess of 51) €610 4.3% (+€25)
Fee for a European search/supplementary European search (for applications filed on or after 1/7/2005) €1350 3.8% (+€50)
Designation fee (for applications filed on or after 1/4/2009) €610 4.3% (+€25)
Examination fee (for applications filed on or after 1/7/2005) €1700 4.0% (+€65)
Examination fee (for international applications filed on or after 1/7/2005 for which no supplementary European search is drawn up) €1900 4.1% (+€75)
3rd year renewal fee €490 4.3%* (+€20)
Fee for grant and publication (for applications filed on or after 1/4/2009) €960 3.8% (+€35)
Opposition fee €815 3.8% (+€30)
Appeal fee €2705 20% (+€450)
Appeal fee (for appellants as defined in R6(4) and (5) EPC) €1955 4.0% (+€75)
Registration of a transfer €105 5.0% (+€5)
Fee for certified copy of a document (application, priority document, patent certificate, other documents) €105 110% (+€55)
Fee for additional copy of documents cited in a search report €105 162.5% (+€65)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.