EPO fee changes from 1 April 2020

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The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued its Decision to increase the official fees as of 1 April 2020.

The majority of all official fees will be increased.

Payments of official fees that will become due after 1 April 2020 can be made early, i.e. by the end of March, in order to still profit from the old fee schedule.

A link to the official Decision of the EPO to increase the fees can be found here.

Below please see a list of the most important fees showing the costs before and after the cut-off date of 1 April 2020.

 

Fee Description Before 1 April  2020
(EUR)
After 1 April 2020
(EUR)
Filing fee 120 125
Additional fee for a European patent application comprising more than 35 pages
(per page)
15 16
Search fee for a European or supplementary European search
(on an application filed on or after 1 July 2005)
1300 1350
Designation fee (flat fee) 585 610
Renewal fees:
3rd year renewal fee 470 490
4th year renewal fee 585 610
5th year renewal fee 820 855
6th year renewal fee 1050 1090
7th year renewal fee 1165 1210
8th year renewal fee 1280 1330
9th year renewal fee 1395 1450
10th – 20th year renewal fee 1575 1640
Examination fee
(for an application filed after July 1st, 2005)
1635 1700
Examination fee for an international application filed on or after July 1st 2005
for which no European Search Report is drawn up
1825 1900
Fee for grant and printing 925 960
Opposition fee 785 815
Appeal fee, filed by a natural person or small entity 1880 1955
Appeal fee, filed by any other entity 2255 2705
Further processing fee 255 265
Fee for re-establishment of rights 640 665
Claims fee, for the 16th and each subsequent claim up to the limit of 50 235 245
Claims fee, for the 51st and each subsequent claim 585 610

 

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European Patent Validation

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Not to be confused with the much delayed Unitary Patent, the European Patent system provides companies with an important structure for protecting and exploiting inventions in Europe. However, certain requirements must be met if patent holders are to make best use of the system.

Unlike the European Union Trade Mark (EUTM), which protects trademarks across the European Union on registration, a European Patent (EP) does not automatically deliver Europe-wide protection on grant. Instead, an EP patent application will be filed first at the European Patent Office (EPO, and then, after the EPO has granted the European patent, it is extended to other signatory countries via the EP validation process.

Valet Patent Services, LLP offers a low cost, highly efficient and centralized European patents validation service. With us, you have a single point of contact to manage your European patent validation in each of 38 EP member states. We offer a significantly lower cost service than other providers. Send us an email to mail@valetpatentdev.wpengine.com for a locked-in quote.

Core requirements: language translation, address for service and payment of fees

The EP validation process is subject to a number of important requirements and deadlines. In particular, companies seeking to validate their EP rights need to do so within three months of first grant and, depending on the country in question, adhere to certain translation requirements.

Group 1 – no translation requirements Signatory countries that share an official language with the European Patent Office (English, French or German) no longer require the EP to be translated into their national language. This applies to: France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland/Liechtenstein and the UK.
Group 2 – claim translation only All other signatory countries require the claims to be translated into their national languages as part of the validation process. Some of these countries also require a description in English.
Group 3 – full translation required Non-signatory countries to continue to require a full translation of the patent into their national language.

In addition to translation requirements, there are a number of countries that require a local address for service or appointment of a local patent attorney. Often, there are validation fees to be paid.

At Valet Patent Services, LLP, we handle all of these requirements in each country. You will receive a single invoice for the entire European patent validation project. Send us an email to mail@valetpatentdev.wpengine.com for a locked in quote for your next European patent validation project.

Getting the translation right

Companies seeking to validate their patents in countries requiring claim or full translation need access to specialized translators with the deep industry and scientific knowledge necessary to provide patent translations in their technical field. For this reason, it’s important to work with an IP adviser who can match you to the right translator for your industry sector and specific needs. This can help to ensure that translations are faithful to the original text, and requirements of the designated countries.

At Valet Patent Services, LLP, we only work with mother tongue translators who have the requisite technical qualifications in your field. Send us an email to mail@valetpatentdev.wpengine.com for a locked-in quote for your next European patent validation project.

Focusing on the most appropriate markets

It’s not necessary to validate patents in every signatory state; instead, companies should favor core distribution, transportation and/or manufacturing markets when validating their EP rights. For advice in this regard, please email us at mail@valetpatentdev.wpengine.com.

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Utility Model protection in Germany

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Differences between utility model and regular patents

Utility models are unexamined IP rights. During the registration procedure, there is no examination as to novelty, inventive step und industrial application. For this reason, utility model protection can be obtained more easily, faster and at lower cost than regular patent protection.

Another important difference between the two IP rights is the term of protection. A patent can be kept in force for up to 20 years, whereas a utility model protection can last for up to ten years.

Utility models are extremely attractive for novel consumer products that require protection in Europe, but which, because of product lifecycle and other factors, do not justify the slower and more expensive route to protection available for regular patents. A utility model can be drafted, filed and registers within a few months and can be far lower cost than regular patents.

Utility models can be directed to protect the function or workings of a product and thus can offer greater protection than a corresponding design patent for the product. Of course, a combined approach may be optimal in which design and utility model protection is sought.

Application procedure

You will receive an acknowledgement containing the date of filing as well as the file number. After the application fee has been received, the Utility Model Unit of the German patent office (DPMA) examines whether the application documents comply with the Utility Model Ordinance (Gebrauchsmusterverordnung). Formal examination includes completeness of the application and compliance with the formal requirements. Substantive examination is carried out as to whether the invention can be protected by a utility model in principle.

If deficiencies are found, this may lead to different legal consequences as outlined below. However, you can be sure that a utility model drafted and filed by Valet Patent Services would meet all stipulated requirements and we would expect registration without intermediate notices of deficiency.

  • If fundamental requirements are not met, registration of the utility model is not possible.

For example, the invention must be already disclosed in the documents submitted at the filing date in a comprehensive manner. It is not possible to add additional features in the further procedure. If the application is not withdrawn following a corresponding deficiency letter, the application will be refused by decision. A new application might then be an option.

  • Formal deficiencies can usually be remedied. The Utility Model Unit will inform us about the deficiencies and how to remedy them.

If there are no deficiencies or if they have been remedied, the utility model will be entered into the official Register (DPMAregister). The IP right becomes effective upon registration of the utility model allowing you to exploit your rights.
The utility model specification will be published approximately four weeks after registration and can then be searched in the DPMA databases.

Costs and timelines

An application fee of 40 euros for a utility model application must be paid to the German patent office within three months from filing the application. Valet Patent Services offers a low fixed fee for filing German utility model applications. The application fee is as low as 30 euros for e-filing. Maintenance fees are due after three, six and eight years. If the respective maintenance fee is not paid at all, not paid in due time or not paid in full, the utility model will lapse. Information about fees and fee payment are available here.

The registration procedure is completed, on average, within three to four months.

Applying for a utility model in Germany

Valet Patent Services offers a low cost, fixed fee arrangement for drafting your utility model patent application. We would expect the draft and subsequent drafting of your utility model application to take less than two weeks and for the filing and registration of your utility model to be achieved within a few months.

As with a regular patent application, a German utility model application must include a description of the invention and claims setting out the desired scope of protection. Drawings are required if the claims or the description refer to the drawings.

Utility Model Protection Outside Germany

In contrast to the regular patent system, there is no European filing route. Neither do all countries offer utility model protection. For example, there is no utility model in Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Spain offer short term patents or utility models having lower costs and easier examination requirements.

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EP VALIDATIONS

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Going through the validation process for a European Patent in different countries simultaneously can be a complex, time consuming and expensive procedure. Valet Patent Services is your low-cost, single point-of-contact partner that handles the entire procedure with simple workflows, while you can focus on your own business.

European Patent Validation – What, When and How?

EP Validation is the process of converting a single granted European Patent into a national patent in one or more of the 42 European Patent Organization member, extension and validation states.

The validation process typically involves high quality, technically-qualified translation of all or part of the patent, the payment of fees and the filing of documents within a certain time frame – usually three months from the European Grant Date.

The actual requirements vary between countries. Generally, there is a requirement to translate some or all of the European patent specification, to pay fees at the local patent office, and to appoint a local representative.  Valet Patent Services, LLP offers a central service for completing all of these acts in each of your designated countries.

EP Validation Deadline

The deadline for validation in most countries is three months from the European Grant date.

What makes us different?

We only use technically qualified, mother tongue translators who are often patent attorneys in the local jurisdiction.  We have arranged special fees with our local partners in each country and can pass on significant discounts to you.  We believe that Valet Patent Services, LLP is the lowest cost provider of European patent validation services.  We have tried and tested procedures that are pending ISO certification to guarantee that all deadlines and formal requirements are satisfied.  We complete thousands of European patent validations each year and you can rely on the experience we have gained to complete your validations projects on-time and without fuss.

We offer you:

  • An easy validation management service with a single point of contact,
  • We’ll take care of the rest, keeping you informed at every stage, while you retain control.
  • Competitive costs without any hidden expenses.
  • Certified patent translators for a state of art translations.
  • An efficient follow up management that provides renewals, annual payments and other IP related services.
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