EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
Information from the EPO
Notice of the European Patent Office dated 24 January 2019 concerning the amendment of Article 2 of the Rules relating to Fees with effect from 1 April 2019
On 1 April 2019, an amendment of Article 2 of the Rules relating to Fees (RFees) enters into force.1 This notice gives an overview of the amendment and its consequences for the application of specific fee levels by the Office, in particular those adopted by decision CA/D 17/17.2 For more information, see CA/93/18.3
Amendment of Article 2 RFees
1. The amendment introduces a new paragraph: Article 2(4) RFees. This provision provides that amended fee levels which are related to the use of a means of electronic communication or a document format will not apply until a date set by the President of the Office. This flexibility allows the Office to ensure that the necessary IT developments are completed by the time the fee levels concerned become applicable.
2. By a publication in the March 2018 Official Journal,4 users were informed that changes to the filing fee, the fee for grant and the transmittal fee, which had been adopted in CA/D 17/17, would not apply until the technical means for DOCX filing were available. This information is set aside by CA/D 11/18, which, with effect from 1 April 2019, delegates to the President of the Office the competence to determine the date from which the fee levels concerned apply.
3. As from 1 April 2019, the following fee levels will continue not to apply until a date set by the President:5
- EUR 90 filing fee (Article 2(1), item 1(i), RFees);
- EUR 825 fee for grant (Article 2(1), item 7(i), RFees);
- EUR 1 025 fee for grant (Article 2(1), item 7(ii), second indent, RFees);
- EUR 0 transmittal fee (Article 2(1), item 18, first indent, RFees);
- EUR 825 fee for grant (Article 2(2), item 7.1(i), RFees);
- EUR 1 025 fee for grant (Article 2(2), item 7.1(ii), second indent, RFees).
4. The text of the RFees6 as adopted by CA/D 17/177 indicates a fee level for the fee for grant of EUR 925 which will be in force until 31 March 2019 and will be raised to EUR 1 025 as from 1 April 2019. These dates are set aside by CA/D 11/18. Instead, the President of the Office will determine the date from which the increase in the grant fee to EUR 1 025 will apply.8 Therefore, the fee for grant will continue to be levied at the amount of EUR 925 until a date to be determined in a decision of the President of the Office under Article 2(4) RFees.
Increased filing fee for non-online filings and grace period
5. Unlike the fee levels listed in point 3 above, which will continue not to apply, the EUR 250 filing fee for non-online filings9 will start to be applied by the Office as from 1 April 2019. It will apply to payments made on or after 1 April 2019.
6. A grace period of six months from 1 April 2019 has been provided.10 During this grace period, a payment in due time but only in the amount applied before 1 April 2019 will not lead to a loss of rights if the difference is made good within two months of an invitation to that effect from the Office.
Previous information superseded
7. The information published by the EPO in OJ 2018, A28, setting out the Office's current practice of not applying certain fee levels until the technical means for DOCX filing are available is hereby revoked with effect from 1 April 2019. With the exception of the filing fee for non-online filings, these fee levels will continue not to be applied by the Office until the date determined by the President of the Office under Article 2(4) RFees. Any such date will be published well in advance in the Official Journal.
Online information sources
8. Accurate and up-to-date information on the fee levels applicable in procedures before the EPO can be found on the EPO website (www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/epc/2016/e/ma6.html), in particular in the interactive schedule of fees (https://my.epoline.org/portal/classic/epoline.Scheduleoffees).
6 Article 2(1), item 7(ii), RFees and Article 2(2), item 7.1(ii), RFees.
9 Article 2(1), item 1(iii), RFees.