What do I have to do to apply for a European patent?

Requests for the grant of a European patent must be filed on the form prescribed by the European Patent Office (EPO Form 1001). This should be accompanied (where applicable - i.e. where the applicant is not the inventor or is not the sole inventor) by a "Designation of the inventor" form (EPO Form 1002). An "Authorisation" (EPO Form 1003) may also be required (see "Representation" below).

European patent applications must contain:

  • a request for the grant of a European patent (EPO Form 1001)
  • a description of the invention
  • one or more claims
  • any drawings referred to in the description or the claims
  • an abstract.


If you do not have either a residence or a place of business within the territory of an EPC contracting state ("non-resident applicants") you must be represented by a professional representative and act through them in all proceedings, other than in filing the European patent application. You can find a professional representative in the database of professional representatives.

Fees payable on filing

The following fees are payable upon filing a European patent application.

  • Filing fee: EUR 135 (for online filings – fee code 001) or EUR 285 (for paper filings - fee code 001); additional fee for the 36th and each subsequent page, if applicable: EUR 17 (fee code 501)
  • Search fee: EUR 1 520 (fee code 002).
  • Claims fees: EUR 275 (fee code 015) for the 16th and each subsequent claim up to 50, and EUR 685 for the 51st and each subsequent claim.

For divisional applications filed in respect of any earlier application which is itself a divisional application (Rule 38(4) EPC):

  • fee for a divisional application of the second generation EUR 235 (fee code 552)
  • fee for a divisional application of the third generation EUR 480 (fee code 553)
  • fee for a divisional application of the fourth generation EUR 715 (fee code 554)
  • fee for a divisional application of the fifth or any subsequent generation EUR 955 (fee code 555).

The above fees are due within one month of filing the European patent application.

Further fees are due if you decide that you wish to pursue the application after receiving the European search report.

Where to file

Our filing offices are located in Munich, Berlin and The Hague. You may also file online, using one of the EPO online filing tools. 
The EPO's postal addresses can be found on the Contact page. 

For further information on how to file a European patent application and on the European patent grant procedure, see The European Patent Guide - How to get a European patent, as well as Notes on EPO Form 1001 and the current Schedule of fees and expenses.