The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced a new schedule of fees (decision CA/D 14/13) effective from 1 April 2014. This will result in significant changes to the fees for certain activities.

Divisional Applications

As reported in our newsletter of 22 October 2013, the EPO announced that the rules restricting filing of divisional applications would be relaxed from 1 April 2014, to allow filing at any time that a European application remains pending. However, to discourage the filing of successive generations of divisional applications, the EPO also announced an intention to increase the corresponding official fees.

New Official Fees for Divisional Applications

From 1 April 2014, second and subsequent generation divisional applications (i.e. applications divided out from a first, or later, divisional application) will be subject to the following additional fees:

  • second generation divisional application: € 210
  • third generation divisional application: € 420
  • fourth generation divisional application: € 630
  • fifth and later generation divisional applications: € 840

Recommendations

  • Any second or subsequent generation divisional applications should be filed before 1 April 2014 to avoid the new fees.
  • From 1 April 2014, it may be particularly advantageous to file divisional applications at an earlier point in time, because applications divided directly from the original parent application will avoid the new fees.
  • Early filing of any divisional application remains advantageous in general terms, since it reduces the number of back renewal fees that must be paid for the application; the new schedule of fees increases renewal fees by approximately 4.5%.

Other Fee Changes

Generally, official fees will increase by between 4% and 5%. However, there are some significant exceptions to this trend:

  •  Appeal fees increase: € 1240 to € 1860
  • European search fees increase: € 1165 to € 1285
  • Supplementary European search fees increase: € 1165 to € 1285