EPO to offer fee reduction for micro-entities

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The European Patent Office (EPO) is reducing fees for micro-entities  starting from 1 April 2024.

The new EPO scheme aims to make the European patent system more affordable to smaller businesses, supporting their development and growth. The EPO hopes this will increase the number of smaller businesses investing in their patentable assets. A microenterprise is defined as a company with “fewer than ten employees and an annual turnover or balance sheet below €2 million”.

Changes mean that smaller businesses will be offered a 30% fee reduction, irrespective of the language the application is filed in. However, these reductions only apply if these microenterprises have filed fewer than five applications within five years of the date of the current application.

Other beneficiaries of this 30% fee reduction scheme also include non-profit organisations, universities and public research organisations as well as individuals seeking patents. All qualifying organisations must disclose their eligibility at the time of application.

The decision comes into force alongside the EPOs latest increase in fees across the board. Most notably, third- and fourth-year renewals fees which are set to increase between 8-30%.

For further information or advice on how these fee reduction schemes might be beneficial to you, contact ip21 Ltd and speak to one of our team members who will be more than happy to help.

Katherine Hampton, PhD (Cell Biology) student and Intern for ip21 Ltd