EPO launches additional fee reductions for European patent applications

The European Patent Office (EPO) has introduced additional fee reductions for the filing of European patents by applicants classified as Micro-entities. This includes Microenterprises, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Universities, Non-Profit Organisations, Public Research Organisations, and Natural Persons. The new set of reductions in official fees will come into effect from April 1, 2024.

The EPO aims to create more favourable conditions for applicants in these categories, who may not be familiar with the patent system, to incur lower costs when using the Patent System under the European Patent Convention. The incentive package is based on a substantial reduction in several official fees related to the filing and prosecution of patent applications, including renewal fees.

Currently, there is a 30% discount on filing and examination fees, representing an overall discount of about 15% for the basic fees related to filing a patent application. To date, only micro-entities that are residents or nationals of an EPO member state, such as Portugal, could enjoy these benefits.


April 1, 2024: Changes Ahead

The new rules maintain the discounts from the current rules and introduce additional discounts, regardless of the nationality or domicile of the applicant. Under the new rules, discounts of 30% are foreseen for the filing fee; search fee; examination fee; designation fee; publication and granting fee, and renewal fees of the patent application.

Additionally, the EPO's incentive plan provides the possibility of combining benefits, allowing a discount of around 40% discount on the total value of the official fees related to filing a patent application.

These additional discounts do not apply if the applicant has at least 5 European patent applications filed in the 5 years preceding the new patent application. Furthermore, these new discounts are specific for the Micro-entities classified as Microenterprises, Universities, Non-Profit Organisations, Public Research Organisations, or Natural Persons.

These joint discount rules can significantly reduce the costs associated with the filing and maintenance of a European patent application, allowing Micro-entities to use the Patent System more competitively in Europe.


For further clarification on the reduction of official fees at the EPO, please contact us via email at info@inventa.com

Previous Next