EPO: Changes to fee-related issues as of 1.4.2024

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The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office (EPO) has decided to increase certain official fees as well as make some other changes relating to fees, such as reductions of fees. The changes come into force on 1.4.2024.

Language reduction – current situation

Applicants from an EPC contracting state not having English, French or German as an official language can, in certain conditions, benefit from a reduction of some fees.

Presently, for example a Finnish applicant that is a small or medium-sized enterprise (according to a definition by the EU), a natural person, a non-profit organisation, a university or a public research organisation (a so called R.6(4)-entity) can benefit from a 30 % reduction from the examination fee when the request for examination is made in Finnish. This is a significant advantage in that the applicant does not need to do anything else than declare themselves to be a R.6(4)-entity and to add one phrase in Finnish to the request for grant form. The filing fee is also reduced, if the application is filed in Finnish, but the fee reduction is significantly smaller than the cost for translation.

Fee reductions as of April

The current language reduction applies also after 1.4.2024, but additionally all applicants that are R.6(4)-entities, except SME’s, can benefit from a reduction of some further fees, i.e. without any requirement as to the language or the place of business or residence. Applicants can also benefit from both reductions.

The reduction remains 30 %, and in addition to the filing and examination fee, it is available for the search, designation, grant and renewal fees.

Microenterprises have been added to the list of possible beneficiaries of the fee reductions, meaning enterprises employing fewer than 10 persons and having a turnover or balance sheet sum not exceeding 2 MEUR. Such companies have also previously been eligible for the language reductions, as the definition of SME’s has not had a lower limit for employees or their finances.

This rather generous new fee reduction policy has however been limited to applicants that have filed less than five EP-applications (including PCT regional phase applications at the EPO, i.e. Euro-PCT-applications) within the preceding five years. The period of five years is calculated from the filing date of the EP-application or the date of entry into regional phase at the EPO for Euro-PCT-applications. This means that for example universities and public research organisations, as well as actively patenting companies will rarely be eligible for these fee reductions.

In case there are several applicants, all applicants must be entitled to the fee reductions. The right to the reduction is to be fulfilled on the date of payment of the fee, for example when paying a renewal fee.

Changes in official fees

At the same time as the above changes, the EPO deletes some rarely used fees and increases some fees, although not all. Mainly the increase is of about 4 %, while the renewal fee for the fourth year increases for almost 30 %.


Some background and the decision of the Administrative Council can be found here:



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