Important changes to fee refund procedures

Important changes to fee refund procedures came into force on 1 April 2019.

Applicants can choose to have refunds credited to either a deposit account held with the EPO or a bank account. Fees will no longer be refunded by cheque.

In addition, users will be offered more flexibility with respect to their choice of refund recipient. Under the revised refund procedures, the EPO will refund fees to any deposit account as indicated by the applicant or representative/agent in the refund instructions.

Refund instructions should preferably be filed in an electronically processable format (XML) via EPO Online Filing, new online filing (CMS) or ePCT[1].

If the EPO cannot make a refund to a deposit account, it will invite the party to the proceedings to claim the refund via a dedicated portal. Further details can be found on our website.

Further information

  • Notice from the European Patent Office dated 27 February 2019 concerning the fee refund procedures (OJ 2019, A26)
  • Web section "Pay fees and claim refunds"

  • [1] Refund instructions (PCT international phase) can be made on Form PCT/RO/101 submitted via ePCT, PCT-SAFE or via EPO Online Filing and new online filing (CMS) once the PCT-SAFE release of April 2019 has been incorporated into the systems. It is, however, also possible to submit refund instructions as subsequently filed instructions (eOLF: PCT-SFD, PCT-DEMAND; CMS: Form 1038 PCT; ePCT: DEMAND) from 1 April 2019 via these three means of filing. Any other means of online filing available at the EPO may be used without limitation to submit refund instructions as from 1 April 2019.

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