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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
1.4.3
Renewal fees 

For the divisional application, as for any other European patent application, renewal fees are payable to the EPO. They are due in respect of the third year and each subsequent year, calculated from the date of filing of the parent application. Pursuant to Art. 76(1), the date of filing the parent application is also the date from which the time limits for payment of the renewal fees for the divisional application (Art. 86(1)) are calculated. If, when the divisional application is filed, renewal fees for the parent application have already fallen due, these renewal fees must also be paid for the divisional application and fall due when the latter is filed. The period for payment of these fees is four months after the filing of the divisional application. If not paid in due time, they may still be validly paid within six months of the date on which the divisional application was filed, provided that at the same time the additional fee of 50% of the renewal fees paid late is paid. The same applies if on the date of filing of the divisional application a further renewal fee in addition to those to be made good falls due, or a renewal fee falls due for the first time.

If, within the four-month period referred to above, a further renewal fee falls due or a renewal fee falls due for the first time, it may be paid without an additional fee within that period. It may otherwise still be validly paid within six months of the due date, provided that at the same time the additional fee of 50% of the renewal fee paid late is paid. When calculating the additional period the principles developed by the Legal Board of Appeal should be applied (see J 4/91).

Further processing for failure to pay renewal fees on time is excluded by virtue of Rule 135(2). However, re-establishment is possible. In the case of applications for re-establishment of rights in respect of renewal fees falling due on filing of the divisional or within the four-month period laid down in Rule 51(3), second sentence, the one-year period prescribed by Rule 136(1) starts to run only after the six months under Rule 51(2) have expired.

Example: 

25.03.2008:

date of filing of parent application;

11.01.2011:

filing of divisional application and due date of renewal fee for the third year;

31.03.2011:

due date of renewal fee for the fourth year;

11.05.2011:

expiry of four-month period under Rule 51(3);

11.07.2011:

expiry of six-month period under Rule 51(2) in respect of the renewal fee for the third year;

30.09.2011:

expiry of six-month period under Rule 51(2) in respect of the renewal fee for the fourth year;

11.07.2012:

expiry of one-year period under Rule 136(1) in respect of the renewal fee for the third year;

01.10.2012:

expiry of one-year period under Rule 136(1) in respect of the renewal fee for the fourth year (extended under Rule 134(1)).