Notice from the European Patent Office dated 5 February 2015 concerning the time limits for paying validation fees
The time limits for paying validation fees are governed by the national laws of the validation states.
1. Validation fees must be paid as follows:
- for European patent applications: six months from the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the European search report;
- for Euro-PCT applications entering the European phase: 31 months from the date of filing (or the oldest priority date) or six months from the date of publication of the international search report, whichever is the latest.
If the validation fee is not paid in due time, the request for validation is deemed withdrawn.
2. If the validation fee for a state is not paid within the basic period, the applicant can still pay it, together with a 50% surcharge[ 1 ],
(a) within two months of expiry of the basic period ("grace period") or
(b) along with the further processing concerning the designation fee: within two months of notification of a communication of loss of rights under Rule 112(1) EPC following non-payment of the designation fee.
3. If no loss of rights under Rule 39 EPC has occurred and the validation fee has not been paid within the applicable basic period, no notification under Rule 112(1) EPC is issued and the request for validation is deemed withdrawn, with no possibility of late payment plus surcharge unless the grace period of two months as from the end of the basic period has not yet expired.
4. Re-establishment of rights under Article 122 and Rule 136 EPC is not available in respect of payment of the validation fee.
5. The Guidelines for Examination (A-III, point 12) will be updated accordingly as soon as possible.
[ 1 ] Same procedure as for the grace period for paying extension fees, see OJ EPO 2009, 603.