The EPO paves the way for innovation: 30% reduction in patent fees for microenterprises and non-profit entities

15 April 2024

The EPO implements a 30% reduction in many of its fees for microenterprises, non-profit organizations and research entities in order to facilitate access to patent protection.

15 April 2024

On April 1, 2024, the European Patent Office (EPO) introduced changes to its fees, including a 30% reduction in many of its official fees for micro-enterprises, natural persons, non-profit organizations, universities, or public research entities, regardless of their nationality or residence.

This reduction applies to various fees, including filing fees, search fees, examination fees, designation fees and annuities for European or Euro-PCT patents.

To be eligible, applicants must meet certain criteria, such as having filed fewer than five European patent applications in the last five years and fall within the scope of the definitions of micro-enterprises as established by the EPO.

The eligibility declaration must be made explicitly when filing the patent application or paying the relevant fee. If there are multiple applicants, each must individually meet the requirements. If an applicant loses eligibility during the process, he must inform the EPO immediately. Eligibility is verified through random checks, and if there are doubts, evidence will be requested from the applicant. Missing or incorrect evidence may result in the fee being deemed unpaid and the application being withdrawn. Reductions do not apply to all fees, such as unit patent annuities.

Additionally, the 30% language-related reduction for certain applicants residing in Contracting States with official languages other than English, French or German remains in place. These reductions can be combined to increase potential savings until patent grant, with potential savings of up to €2,300 for a standard European patent application.

To learn more about the details, we have prepared a document, which we hope will be helpful to you. In any case, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

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