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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
1.
General 

Various fees have to be paid for a European patent application, renewing a European patent and obtaining legal remedies. Fees may also need to be paid by third parties, such as for applications to inspect the files of European patent applications or European patents. Fees may be validly paid by any person. The amounts of the fees, the ways in which they are to be paid and the date of payment are determined in the Rules relating to Fees (RFees). Guidance for the payment of fees, costs and prices with information about:

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the current version of the Rules relating to Fees and the schedule of fees;
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important implementing rules to the Rules relating to Fees;
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the payment and refund of fees and costs; 
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other notices concerning fees and prices; and 
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international applications, including Euro-PCT applications entering the European phase, 

as well as the amounts of the principal fees for European and international applications and an extract from the Rules relating to Fees is published at regular intervals in the Official Journal. A list of bank accounts opened in the name of the European Patent Organisation for payment appears each month on the inside back cover. Information relating to fees can also be found on the EPO website (www.epo.org) under: Applying for a patent/Forms and fees/Making payments.

The EPC and the Implementing Regulations thereto lay down the time limits for paying fees and the legal consequences of non-compliance with the time limits. The time limits for payment and the legal consequences of non-payment are dealt with in the Chapters of the Guidelines covering the respective stages of the procedure. The methods of payment, the date on which payment is considered to be made, due dates, particulars concerning the purpose of payments and reimbursement of fees are all dealt with below.