01 March 2018
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) has announced changes to UK patent fees to be introduced from 6 April 2018. Despite increases in both pre-grant fees and some post-grant renewal fees, the UK fees remain competitive compared to patent fees elsewhere around the world.
Notable changes include the introduction of fees for excess claims and description pages. Although common in other jurisdictions, these have not been charged at the UK IPO before. Some fee increases can be avoided by making payments for existing applications early, before the new fees come in on 6 April.
New Excess Claims Fees
Introduced at a rate of £20 per claim over 25 claims, these excess claims fees will form part of the search fee, which must be paid within 12 months of the priority date. Failure to pay excess claims fees will result in the entire application being deemed withdrawn, unlike at the EPO where failure to pay simply results in the additional claims over 15 being considered withdrawn. Since amendment of the claims before search is at the discretion of the UK IPO, applicants should consider the number of claims carefully before filing.
New Excess Pages Fees
Introduced at a rate of £10 per page over 35 as part of the examination fee, these will be payable 6 months from publication of the application. The fees apply only to description pages and not to the claims or drawings pages.
Increase from £20 to £60 with a new £15 surcharge for payment after filing.
Increase by £10 each from year 12 onwards as part of the UK IPO’s continued strategy to cover the majority of its costs from renewal fees, rather than pre-grant fees.
Discounts for paying fees electronically will increase to £30 for each of the application, search and examination fees.
Contact your Mathys & Squire attorney today to discuss what you may be able to do by way of, for example, early fee payment on existing UK applications and filing strategies for future Patent Applications.
Further information on the UK IPO amendments can be found here.
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