Which fees are reduced?

This part explains which fees are reduced and the savings you can make.

The 30% language-related reduction applies to the filing and the examination fee for European patent applications and the examination fee for international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty after entering the European phase (“Euro-PCT applications”).

The (additional) 30% micro-entity fee reduction applies to the main fees payable in the patent grant process before the EPO, see below for details.

In more detail:

Table of reduced fees

Depending on the route (EP direct route, international route), reductions are available for the following fees:

Figure 1 showing table

These fees are reduced by 30%. The special case marked with an asterisk and the combinations of reductions for the same fee are explained below.

The micro-entity fee reductions do not apply to international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty before entering the European phase (e.g. international filing fee, international search fee etc.). For these applications you may benefit from reductions available for nationals of low-income or lower-middle income states and for residents of EPO validation states.

Examination fee when the EPO acted as International Searching Authority

Micro-entities filing via the EP direct route may benefit from a reduction in the search fee.

Similarly, a reduction of the supplementary search fee may be granted for applications from the Euro-PCT route for which the EPO did not act as ISA.

In order not to disadvantage those micro-entity applicants using the EPO as ISA, the examination fee, after the application of reductions applicable to the fee itself, is further reduced by 30% of the effective international search fee (i.e. the fee after potential reductions or refunds) if the micro-entity fee reduction applies.

For example, if the EPO carried out an international search for an amount X and a refund of an amount Y applied, the effective international search fee Z would be Z=X-Y. The same goes where  no refund or reduction applies but Y would then be zero.

If the applicant is a micro-entity entitled to a reduction for the application in question, the examination fee E would first be reduced by 30% of E and then reduced by 30% of Z.

Combination of language-related and micro-entity fee reductions

Language-related fee reductions and fee reductions for micro-entities may be combined sequentially. For example, if a fee of EUR 1000 is reduced by 30% to EUR 700 under the language-related fee reduction scheme, then a second reduction by 30% under the micro-entity scheme would take it down to EUR 490.

A sequential combination of fee reductions is also possible for:

  • reductions in the examination fee after a previous international preliminary examination at the EPO (RFees Art. 14(2))
  • reductions in the supplementary search fee after a search done by another European ISA (see OJ EPO 2024, A3)
  • reductions under the EPO-WIPO agreement for certain countries.

Applicants are not entitled to any payment from the EPO if the result is negative.