Change in UKIPO Fee Structure
Following a user consultation in 2017, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has today announced that certain official patent fees will be changing, and new fees will be introduced, effective from 6th April 2018.
For example, the online filing application fee which is currently £20, and has been at this rate for a number of years, will be increasing to £60. The cost of requesting a search on both a UK patent application and a UK (ex-PCT) national phase application will be increasing by £20. Similarly, the cost of substantive examination will increase by £20. However, a new 25% surcharge will apply if the application fee is paid after filing a UK patent application. (Currently, it is possible to defer paying any UK fees up to 12 months from the priority date of a UK patent application. This is a popular option for start-ups or companies who use a UK patent application to obtain a priority date, but intend to abandon the application at the end of the priority year.)
Presently, the UKIPO does not charge any excess claims fees. However, from 6th April, a claim fee of £20 for each claim over 25 will apply. Similarly, lengthy patent applications will now incur excess pages fees of £10 for each page over 35.
A new grant fee will also be introduced – the grant fee will be the sum of any additional excess claims and any additional excess pages that were not paid previously. The Notification of Intention to Grant will indicate if a grant fee is applicable. These new fees will bring the UK patent fee schedule into closer conformity with the European Patent Office’s fee schedule and practice.
Despite the upcoming changes to the UKIPO patent fees, the UK continues to represent a cost-effective jurisdiction in which to file patent applications, particularly for start-ups and SMEs. Nevertheless, it may be worth filing search and/or examination requests on UK patent applications before 6th April to benefit from the current lower fees. Please contact your trusted TLIP attorney for advice with respect to your patent portfolio.
If you have any general questions on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
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