FAQ - bank transfer

General information

How can I access the functionality for preparing bank transfers?

You can access the functionality in Central Fee Payment. To use Central Fee Payment, you will need to register with an email address (username) and password. No smart card authentication is required.

Which browsers are supported for Central Fee Payment?

Edge, Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Can I make bank transfer payments in Online Filing / Online Filing 2.0 / ePCT?

No, this is not possible. In Online Filing / Online Filing 2.0 you can indicate the payment method you intend to use. However, to make the actual bank payment, you first need to go to Central Fee Payment and submit a payment order to obtain your unique payment reference EPOxxxxxxxx. Once you have received it, you then need to make the transfer from your bank to the EPO’s bank account.

User accounts

I am already a registered user. Do I need to create a new account to use the functionality for preparing bank transfers?

No. If you are already a registered user you can use the same account for the bank transfer functionality The sign-in credentials are the same.

Can I use the same email address (e.g. a company mailbox) for multiple user accounts?

No. The email address you provide when registering for Central Fee Payment is also your username. This means you can only use it for one user account.

I have forgotten my password. What should I do?

Simply click the Forgot your password? link on the Central Fee Payment sign-in page and you will receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password.

Preparing bank transfers

Why should I use the bank transfer functionality?

This functionality offers considerable advantages over the existing bank transfer procedure.

It enables you to pay fees for one or more applications with a single bank transfer. After you select the fees you want to pay, they are bundled in an order, which is given a unique payment reference. Provided the payment reference is correctly indicated in the bank transfer, the payment is automatically reconciled and allocated to the applications and fee codes selected.

You immediately receive payment confirmation once your payment is received at the EPO's bank account. This gives you certainty that the payment has been received. It may also serve as proof of payment for third parties, e.g. tax authorities.

Can I make the payment directly in Central Fee Payment?

No. Once you have submitted a payment order, you will still need to make the bank transfer via your bank. If you want to pay directly in Central Fee Payment, you can use the credit card payment functionality.

Can other users see what I have added to the shopping cart?

No. This is user-specific information and can only be seen by you.

Can other users see the orders that I have submitted (and any payment confirmations) in the fee order history?

No, the fee order history ‒ including the payment confirmations ‒  is user-specific, meaning  you can only see orders you yourself submitted and the corresponding payment confirmations.

Can I submit the payment order in Central Fee Payment and instruct someone else to make the actual bank transfer?

Yes. As long as the payer quotes the payment reference in the bank transfer, it is irrelevant who submits the payment order. However, payment confirmation will only be issued to the online user account of the person submitting the order.

What happens if I forget to make the bank transfer via my bank?

A payment reference is valid for two months after order confirmation. After two months, the payment reference will be cancelled automatically. Note that a payment is not considered to have been made until the amount is received at the EPO bank account.

What happens if I forget to provide the payment reference in my bank transfer?

If the payment reference is missing or incorrect, there will be a delay in processing the fee payment. For this reason, ensure you enter the full reference, which consists of "EPO" followed by the voucher number and the check digit without any spaces (e.g. "EPOxxxxxxxx").

If you forget to state the payment reference in your bank transfer or you notice any mistakes in the payment reference, contact us.

What should I do if, after submitting the payment order, I notice that I want to pay more or fewer fees than those selected in the order?

If you notice that the order submitted is wrong, submit a new order and make the bank transfer quoting this new order's payment reference.

What will be considered the payment date?

The payment date is the date your payment is received at the EPO bank account. The order date of the payment is irrelevant.

"Fees due" fee group

Why has a new fee group, "Fees due", been introduced?

This new feature was introduced to improve the payment service and help users pay fees correctly and on time. It shows the procedural fees due for a selected application or patent based on the information available on file at the time.

The date indicated as the due date corresponds to the last day of the period for making the payment.

You can edit the fee amounts if you have made changes which have not yet been updated in the file but which would lead to different amounts. You are responsible for the correctness of any edited amounts.

Certain fees are not displayed in the "Fees due" fee group – mainly those that can be paid by third parties, such as opposition, appeal and administrative fees. For more information, see OJ EPO 2020, A130 .

Can I decide if I want to pay the fees due or is it mandatory to pay them?

It is not mandatory to pay the fees in the "Fees due" fee group. However, we recommend using this feature.

Is it possible to edit the amounts of the fees that are displayed in the "Fees due" fee group?

Yes. However, you are responsible for the completeness/correctness of any edited amounts.

I can't see any fees in the "Fees due" fee group, but I would like to make a payment. What should I do?

Please select another fee group.

Batch payments

Can I make a batch payment using the bank transfer functionality?

Yes. You can upload a batch payment file and select bank transfer as the payment method during checkout.

How do I make a batch payment?

To make a batch payment you need to create a file in xml or csv format containing the relevant application numbers and payment details.

When you have saved your file:

  1. Sign in to Central Fee Payment.
  2. Go to Fees on the main navigation bar and then Upload fee payments file.
  3. Select Upload file.
  4. Browse for the file and upload it.
  5. Select Add to cart.

The system will automatically recognise the different fields and calculate the total amounts. You can then either go directly to the checkout or add other fees to the cart.

Validation of payments

What is the purpose of the payment validation functionality?

The validation functionality detects and automatically rejects the following:

  • renewal fee payments for definitively closed applications and granted patents
  • payments of the fee for registration of a transfer for definitively closed applications
  • double payments, i.e. where the same fee has already been paid, unless the fee is one of those that can be paid several times in the proceedings before the EPO
  • renewal fee payments before the applicable earliest valid payment date (Rule 51(1) EPC)

The automatic rejection of payments reduces the administrative work involved in refunding invalidly paid fees, for both users and the EPO.

I have entered the European phase late and have to pay several fees for further processing. Will they be automatically rejected by the double-payment validation functionality? What happens if I have to pay a fee for further processing later in the proceedings?

The functionality only rejects double payments of fees that are payable only once in the proceedings, e.g. the filing fee or the third/fourth/fifth/etc. renewal fee. Fees that can be paid several times during the proceedings, such as the fee for further processing or the additional search fee in the event of non-unity, are excluded from double-payment validation.

What happens if a payment is erroneously rejected by the validation functionality?

After validation, you will receive a message, generated by the system, indicating that the payment could not be carried out. The message can be printed or downloaded at any time and is stored in your Rejected fee payment history, which can be found by going to Fees in the main navigation bar. This enables both you and the EPO to retrace the issue. Thus, if a payment is erroneously rejected, no loss of rights will ensue and the date of the attempted payment will be accepted as the payment date.

The system provided me with a message that a fee payment was rejected but I cannot find it in the rejected payment history. What could have happened?

This means that you did not complete the checkout and payment process after the fee validation.

The validation of fees takes place during checkout, and rejected fees are automatically removed from your cart. However, you must continue the checkout, select a payment means and submit your order for the rejected fees to appear in your Rejected fee payment history.

If you do not check out, but instead go back to check the fees again or add additional fees, the rejected fees have already been removed from your cart and so will not be validated again. Therefore they will not appear in your Rejected fee payment history.

If all fees are rejected, you will not be able to complete the checkout and so these fees will not appear in your Rejected fee payment history.

Confirmations and order history

Do I get a confirmation of my order?

You will receive a printable and downloadable order confirmation once you have completed the checkout process. It can also be found in your Fee order history.

Once your payment is received at the EPO's bank account you will also find payment confirmation in the Fee order history. It includes the payment date and all other relevant details, such as the application numbers, fee codes and fee amounts. There is a separate page for each application for which fees have been paid.

Can I see all my company's orders in the order history?

The Fee order history is user-specific. This means you will only see orders submitted via your user account.

What is the difference between an order confirmation and a payment confirmation?

When you submit an order you receive order confirmation and a payment reference. You need to quote this reference when making your bank transfer.

Payment confirmation is available once your transfer has been received at the EPO bank account. You will find it in your Fee order history.

I have made the bank transfer but the payment confirmation contains a fee with the status "partially paid". What does this mean?

This means that the amount received at the EPO bank account is less than the amount indicated on your order. The fee marked "partially paid" is not fully covered by your bank transfer.

To pay the outstanding amount, submit a new order, but only for this fee code and the missing amount. Then make a new bank transfer quoting this new order's payment reference.

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