1 February 2024

EPO Official Fee increase from 1 April 2024

The European Patent Office (EPO) has once again decided that it will increase its official fees as of 1 April 2024.

While some fees are staying the same, there are increases of around 4% for many common fees, and substantial increases in some early renewal fees.

In particular, the search fee is due to increase from €1460 to €1520, the examination fee from €1840 to €1915, the designation fee from €660 to €690 and the grant fee from €1040 to €1080.

The most significant changes are in the renewal fees for the 3rd to 5th year. The 3rd year fee increases from €530 to €690 (an increase of 30%!), the 4th year fee from €660 to €845, and the 5th year fee from €925 to €1000. The 6th year fee decreases slightly, from €1180 to €1155. The remaining renewal fees for the 7th to 9th years have increased only slightly, while the fee for the 10th year onwards remains the same.

It appears that these changes result from the EPO’s perception that increasing procedural efficiency, and therefore reduced time to grant, has resulted in decreased revenue from renewal fees, so requiring a significant increase to renewal fees in the early years.

As in previous years, applicants should once again consider paying fees before 1 April 2024 where it is possible to do so, as well as bringing forward actions that require the payment of fees to before 1 April 2024.

It is likely to be particularly worthwhile to pay the 3rd to 5th year renewal fees early. 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.

A list of the fee increases is available here.