Back to articles February 2018
The changes are in relation to applying for patent protection and also renewing granted patents.
The application fee will be increasing from £30 to £90 for paper filing and £20 to £60 for electronic filings. For the first time the UKIPO will be implementing a 25% surcharge upon the application fee if an applicant does not pay at the time of filing.
The fee for requesting a patent search will also be increasing from £150 to £180 for paper filings and £130 to £150 for electronic filings. For the first time the UKIPO will be introducing an excess claims fee of £20 for each claim over 25. Payment of the excess claims fee will be due at the same time as the search fee. Applicants may note if the excess claims fee is not paid at the same time as the search fee, the UKIPO will deem the application withdrawn. If the excess claims fees are paid in part, the UKIPO will alert the applicant to the outstanding balance. If the balance is not settled a refund will be issued and the application treated as withdrawn.
As of 6th April 2018, the fee for requesting substantive examination will increase from £100 to £130 for paper filings and £80 to £100 for electronic filings. The UKIPO will also be introducing an excess page fee of £10 for every page of description over 35. Payment of the excess page fee will be due at the same time as the request for substantive examination. As with the excess claims fee, non-payment of the excess page fee by this deadline will result in the application being treated as withdrawn, and part payment will also be treated in the same manner as outlined in the excess claims fees above.
Once an intention to grant an application has been issued, the UKIPO will carry out additional checks for unpaid excess claims and page fees. At this point any additional pages over 35 amassed during the prosecution procedure and not paid for will be subject to excess page fees. The applicant will have 2 months from the date of the intention to grant notification to pay any outstanding fees. It is possible to apply for a further 2-month extension at the cost of £135. However, it must be noted that the consequence of non-payment or incomplete payment will be that the application does not proceed to grant and will be deemed withdrawn.
If an application has been treated as withdrawn there is a period of 12 months from the date of termination in which an applicant can apply for it to be reinstated. A reinstatement fee of £150 will be required along with supporting evidence to show a failure to not pay any outstanding fees within the required time frame was not intentional.
Applicants must also note the annual renewal fee for a granted patent will increase by £10 from year 12 up to year 20. The UKIPO have stated where a renewal date falls on or after the 6th April 2018 and the renewal payment is made before this date, the fee will be charged at the current rate.
The UKIPO claims the increase in fees are required to maintain an internationally competitive fee structure, based on high quality and efficient service. They further state the new fee structure is being brought into place to encourage good filing practice, presumably to reduce application size and cover the cost of searching and examining larger applications.
Further information can be found on the UKIPO website here with easy to read tables outlining the current fees and the post 6th April 2018 fees.
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