January 2018

 

 

Changes to UK Patent Fees – 6th April 2018


In January, the UKIPO published information on the new Patent Fees for UK Patents which will come into force on the 6th April 2018.

 

Beyond noting that the individual fees for Filing, Search and Examination are going up, it is of particular note that many of the changes relate to the way the fees are calculated.  In particular, the way in which the fees for Search, Examination and Grant are calculated is now more complex and involved.


In this first briefing, we shall concentrate on providing basic details on how those fees are changing.  In a second briefing entitled ‘New UKIPO Patent Fees – Avoiding Potential Pitfalls’ - click here, we shall identify potential pitfalls for present Applicants who have filed within the twelve months or so preceding the changes, especially those who have filed from the 6th April 2017 and who have not yet paid their Filing, Search and/or Examination Fee.


The main aim of this briefing is to identify the fees payable on electronically filed Patent Applications; however, it is worth noting that further and larger increases are now proposed for paper filings.  It matters not whether your Application was filed before the 6th April 2018 or is filed afterwards, generally speaking, if you attempt to pay any fee on/after that date, one is subject to the new fee regime.


Filing Fee

The electronic Filing Fee payable at the same time as filing a Patent Application electronically will raise from £20 to £60 as of the 6th April 2018.  A surcharge of £15 is payable if the Filing Fee is not paid at the time of filing the Application.


Search Fee

As of the 6th April 2018, the Search Fee will be, notionally, £150; however, an Excess Claims Fee of £20 per claim will be payable at the same time if the Application includes over twenty-five claims.  No additional claims fees are payable for a search of a further invention.


Examination Fee

As of the 6th April, the Examination Fee will be, notionally, £100; however, an Excess Pages Fee of £10 per page of description will be payable at the same time if the description is over thirty-five pages.


Grant Fee

Previously, no Grant Fee was payable for UK Patents; however, as from the 6th April 2018, a Grant Fee will be made up of any unpaid Excess Claims Fee and/or Excess Pages Fee which would fall due at the time the Application is allowed.  When a Notification of Intention to Grant is issued, a date will be set for payment of any Grant Fee due.


Renewal Fees

Renewal Fees for years 12 to 20 will increase by £10 over fees payable prior to the 6th April 2018.


Practical Considerations

Applicants can avoid the payment of the increased Filing Fee, Search Fee and Excess Claims Fee, and/or Examination Fee and Excess Pages Fee if a relevant fee is paid before the 6th April 2018.


If a Patent is renewed before the 6th April 2018, then lower fees are payable for the 12th to 20th years.


Please note that the above fees are outside of UK VAT.


A link to the guidance provided by the UKIPO is as follows: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-patents-fees-coming-into-force-on-6-april-2018/new-patent-fees-guidance-for-business.


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