FAQ - credit card fee payment

General information

How do I access the EPO's credit card fee payment service?

The EPO's credit card fee payment service (hereinafter "the service") is available on the EPO website as an online service under the following link. To use the service, you need to register, giving an email address, but no smart card authentication is required.

What credit cards can I use to pay fees to the EPO?

The EPO currently accepts the following credit cards: American Express, Mastercard and Visa.

Can I make a credit card payment by entering the credit card information in the EPO's filing forms?

No. The credit card payments must be made exclusively through the online service. In the online filing forms, you can specify credit card as your chosen payment method, but this is only for information. Please do not enter any credit card data in the filing forms.

Can I also use the service to make fee payments from my deposit account?

No. Instead, please use the Online Fee Payment service and the online filing tools.

What happens if my credit card transaction fails?

If a credit card transaction fails before it is approved, the payment concerned is considered not to have been made. This applies irrespective of why the transaction failed, i.e. also if the failure was not attributable to the payer.

User accounts

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

No. As the email address indicated by the payer is his or her user name for the service, it cannot be used for more than one user account.

Can the same credit card (e.g. a company card) be used for multiple user accounts?

Yes.

Can I use more than one credit card for my account?

Yes. Multiple credit cards can be allocated to a single user account.

I have forgotten my password. What should I do?

Simply click on the "Forgot your password?" link on the service's login screen and you will receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password.

Making credit card payments

Can I use the service to pay all the patent fees for any application?

Yes. The service allows you to pay fees for specific applications or patents by choosing the procedure in question (PCT, EPC or, once available, Unitary Patent) and the fee category.

Does the service provide any functionality to help users make the correct fee payments?

Yes. For example, if an applicant is entitled to a fee reduction, the payer has to indicate it, and the system then applies it automatically. Also, the payments are selected from fee groups; this helps users to choose the correct fee codes for the procedures concerned.

Is it possible to make a recurring credit card payment order for any fees falling due for my application?

No. You may however wish to consider opting for the automatic debiting procedure, which is available for deposit account holders.

Can I defer the date of credit card payment, as I can with online debit orders from my deposit account?

No. A credit card payment cannot be deferred.

Can I edit the payments already in my shopping cart?

Yes. Until you confirm the payment, you can make changes either directly in the shopping cart or via a link from the cart to your fee selections.

"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 if paying by credit card?

Yes. You can upload a batch payment file and select credit card 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 the payment service.
  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 new 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 payment history

Do I get a confirmation of my payment? If so, in which format?

Yes. Shortly after submitting the payment order you will receive a (printable) confirmation on screen that the transaction has been approved. This confirmation includes the date of payment, and is issued once the EPO receives approval of the transaction from the acquirer. It also includes one page for each application paid for within the transaction concerned.

Can I review my past payment confirmations in the tool?

Yes. The service includes a payment history function, enabling users to view the fees they have already paid and to download transaction confirmations. Each confirmation includes detailed information about the fees paid for the application or patent in question, and the date on which the transaction was approved.

Why didn't I get a confirmation of my credit card payment?

The most likely reason is that your payment was not successful. Normally, this will be indicated on the fee payment service screen. A credit card transaction can fail for a variety of reasons. If this happens, we therefore recommend that you contact the bank that issued your credit card, and check for example that the right transaction limits are in place.

Security of credit card payments

Is my credit card information stored safely, and by whom?

This information is encrypted, and you may then re-use it for further transactions. It is stored by the EPO's payment service provider, Ingenico ePayments, which is a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) certified organisation.

Furthermore, credit card acquirer Concardis has a contract to accept, approve and process, on the EPO's behalf, payments by credit card which result in a transfer of funds to the EPO. Concardis settles these payments with the card-issuing banks.

Can I save my credit card information for future use or do I have to re-enter it each time I make a payment?

If you wish, you can save your credit card information for further payments. If you choose not to, you will indeed have to re-enter it every time you use the service to make a payment.

Does the EPO use 3-D Secure authentication for credit card transactions?

Yes. The EPO uses 3-D Secure for credit card transactions (as of 13.9.2019).

My credit card statement shows a payment to the EPO that I do not recognise. What should I do?

Please contact EPO Customer Services for clarification.

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