9 February 2023

EPO announces fee increase from 1 April 2023

For the second year in a row, the European Patent Office (EPO) will increase its official fees as of 1 April 2023.

Following the Decision of the Administrative Council of 14 December 2022 published in the Official Journal of January 2023, the EPO has announced an increase of some official fees as of 1 April 2023.

On average, the official fees will increase by about 5%, so it may be worth considering whether it is possible to pay an official fee “early”, before 1 April 2023, before the increases take effect.

For example, it may be sensible to file a European regional phase application (based on an international (PCT) application) before 1 April 2023, so as to avoid the fee increase. The normal deadline for entering the European regional phase is 31 months from the earliest priority date, or, if priority is not claimed, from the international application date.

Maintenance/renewal fees for European patent applications can be paid up to 3 months in advance of their due date, except for the first fee (for the 3rd year) which can be paid up to 6 months in advance. Filing a divisional application before 1 April 2023 would also bring savings, as would requesting examination ahead of the due date.  Additionally, fee savings would also be available for priority-claiming European applications filed before 1 April 2023, but any such savings should be weighed against the potential loss of patent term.

Full details of the planned fee rises can be found on the EPO website.