When entering the EPO regional phase, there are many variables that influence the official fees that are payable.

The official list of EPO official fees can be found on the EPO website here but it can be hard to interpret, so we have written this guide to help you understand the official fees that will be payable with a European regional phase filing as a PCT national phase.

If you do need a precise quote for filing in Europe, either as a Paris Convention filing or as an EPO regional phase of a PCT, please do contact us for a tailored quotation.

Supplementary Search

If the EPO did not already act as the International Searching Authority (ISA) during the PCT International Phase, then the EPO must carry out a “supplementary search“, which attracts a fee of EUR 1520.

On the other hand, if the EPO was the ISA, then no supplementary search is required and there is zero fee for the search.

The EPO is a competent ISA for many Receiving Offices, including the USA, Japan and China, so it is quite common for there to be no supplementary search required.

A reduction of EUR 1300 is also available if the PCT International Search Report (ISR) OR SISR was established by the IP offices of Austria, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the Nordic Patent Institute or the Visegrad Patent Institute, so the total search fee payable would be EUR 220.

Examination

The examination fee must be paid at the time of EPO regional phase entry.  The amount payable will depend on whether a supplementary search is required, and then also if the EPO has also acted as the International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA).

If the EPO was the ISA, then no supplementary search is needed, and the examination fee is set at EUR 2135.

Furthermore, if a Chapter II Demand was previously filed and the EPO acted as the IPEA, then the examination fee is reduced by 75%, so the total payable examination fee will be EUR 533.75

If the EPO was not the ISA, then a supplementary search report will be established by the EPO and the search fee will be EUR 1915. This is cheaper than the case where no supplementary search is required, because a search fee is also payable in this scenario.

Fees for extra pages and claims

There are also some variables which depend on the nature of the application.

First off, there are page fees of EUR 17 per page beyond the first 35 pages of the application, so for longer applications this can be significant. The pages of the description, claims and drawings are counted, plus one page in total for any pages with the bibliographic data and the abstract. The page fee can vary if there have been amendments filed during the PCT international phase.

The EPO also charges additional claims fees for claims past the first fifteen claims.  The fee per claim for claims 16 through 50 is EUR 275 per claim. If there are more than 50 claims, then the 51st and each subsequent claim incurs a claims fee of EUR 685.

The punitive nature of the claims fees means that the majority of applications are limited to fifteen claims.

Importantly, claims fees are not due at the time of filing the European regional phase.  After the filing, the EPO will issue an invitation to amend the application (on either a voluntary or mandatory basis), and that invitation sets a six month deadline for amending the application.  Claims fees will become payable based on the form of the application at the end of that six month window.  So, it is very common to use this procedure to reduce the number of claims if needed and avoid claims fees.

Selection of States

One of the payable fees is a “designation fee”.  The European Patent covers 38 core states which are full members of the European Patent Convention (EPC) – and so are called “Contracting States”. Historically, one had to pay a separate fee for each territory in which protection was needed, in other words one had to “designate” specific countries.  However, the system is now simplified and so a single flat “designation fee” covers all EPC Contracting States.  This mandatory fee is EUR 685 and covers the following states:

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, United Kingdom.

Note that Montenegro is only available as a Contracting State for PCT applications with a filing date on or after 1 October 2022. For PCT applications with an earlier filing date, Montenegro is available as an extension state.

Extension States and Validation States

There are some other countries that have not signed up to the full version of the EPC, but have agreed to adopt various core concepts; effectively agreeing that the EPO decision to grant a patent will be treated as granting an equivalent national patent.  There are various types of contract which countries have signed up to, called “extension” or “validation” agreements.

So, the country of Bosnia and Herzogovina is available as so-called “extension state” for an additional fee of EUR 102, while various other countries are available as “validation states” for different fees, namely: Tunisia and Cambodia each cost EUR 180 each, Georgia and Moldova each cost EUR 200 (noting that Georgia is only available for PCT filing dates of 15 January 2024 or later), and Morocco costs EUR 240.

Note that the extension or validation fees must be paid at the time of filing the EP regional phase entry, to preserve rights in these territories.

Third Year Renewal

The EPO charges annual renewal fees during the life of the application (hence they are technically called “application maintenance fees”).  The first fee is due two years from the PCT filing date.

Normally, the “payment window” for a renewal fee only opens three months before the due date for a renewal.  However, when entering the European regional phase, the payment window is opened earlier, at six months before the deadline, so that in the majority of cases it will be possible to make the renewal fee payment with the application.

While this is optional, we would normally recommend the renewal fee is paid for the sake of procedural efficiency.  The first renewal fee is EUR 690.

Micro Entity Status

As explained elsewhere on our site, if an applicant qualifies for micro entity status, there will be a  a 30% reduction in most of the key official fees which are payable to the EPO.

Old Applications

For all applications, a filing fee of EUR 135 will also be payable.  There are also some legacy fees for very old applications that you will see on the official link, but we have ignored these as they are very unlikely to apply in real world scenarios.

If you have any questions on these topics or need a precise quote for filing in Europe, either as a Paris Convention filing or as an EPO regional phase of a PCT, please do contact us for a tailored quotation.

Page reviewed and updated: 4 June 2024