The European Patent Office has published details of the revised Official fees that will enter into force on April 1 2020 (January 2020 issue of Official Journal of the EPO).
Catherine Hanratty and Marie Walsh have reviewed the fee increases and inform us that a general fee increase of 4%, as an inflation indexed adjustment, has been applied by the EPO in the revised fees. There are a few exceptions, notably, the Appeal fee.
The Appeal fee has been increased by 20% from Euro 2255 to Euro 2705. A reduced Appeal fee EUR 1880 (as of April 1 2020) has been available since 2017 for individuals and for SMEs, non-profit organisations, universities, and public research organisations.
The increase of the Appeal fee is set against the background that the Boards of Appeal continue efforts to reduce the backlog of Appeal cases with a five-year objective of settling 90% of cases within 30 months of filing a notice of Appeal; and reducing the number of pending cases to below 7 000 by 2023. At a recent count, the backlog of Appeal cases at the Boards of Appeal was 9338 cases pending on October 31 2019 with 90% of cases settled within 65 months of filing an appeal.
The new Official fees enter into force on April 1 2020, It would be useful to consider moving forward with any EPO fee-related actions in advance of the April 1 fee increases.
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