EPO Introduces New Fee Reduction Scheme for “Micro-Entities”

EPO Fee Reduction

As of April 1, 2024, the European Patent Office (EPO) are implementing reduced fees for “micro-entities”, to support small-scale innovators. The scheme, will apply to both European patent applications and Euro-PCT applications, offering eligible entities a generous 30% reduction across all primary fees involved in the patent grant process.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for these substantial discounts, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be classified as a “micro-entity”, i.e a microenterprise, natural person, non-profit organisation, university or public research organisation.
  • have filed fewer than five applications within the last five years.

Importantly, this fee reduction is universally applicable to micro-entities, regardless of their nationality or domicile. Moreover, it can be combined with existing reductions, such as those offered under language-dependent fee reduction schemes.

Fees Concerned

Under the new scheme, micro-entities stand to benefit from significant reductions across various fees, including:

  • the filing fee, including any additional fees part of the filing fee – reduced from €135 to €94.50;
  • the fee for a European search or the fee for a supplementary European search in the case of a Euro-PCT application searched by an International Searching Authority (ISA) other than the EPO – reduced from €1520 to €1064;
  • the examination fee – reduced from €1915 to € 1340.50;
  • the designation fee – reduced from €685 to €479.50;
  • the fee for grant – reduced from €1080 to €756;
  • the renewal fees for the European patent application – 30% reduction will be applicable.


Declaration requirement

Applicants seeking fee reductions must declare their status explicitly, indicating whether they are microenterprises, SMEs, natural persons, non-profit organizations, universities, or public research organizations.

This declaration can be conveniently made by ticking the appropriate box(es) in the request for grant of a European patent or request for entry into the European phase. Alternatively, applicants may file the EPO Form 1011 separately, ensuring the declaration is submitted no later than the payment of the fee concerned.

In cases where there are multiple applicants, each must individually meet the outlined eligibility criteria.


Ensuring Compliance

The EPO must be notified of any change to the applicant’s ‘micro-entity’ status. If a patent application is transferred, the fee reduction will continue to apply only if the new applicant also qualifies as a micro-entity. A new declaration must be filed by the new applicant to confirm this status.

The EPO will conduct random checks throughout the grant procedure to verify applicants’ status. Any incorrect declarations may result in the application being deemed withdrawn. However, in such instances, applicants will have the opportunity to rectify any loss of rights by using further processing and addressing any underpayment as well as paying the applicable fee for further processing.

This innovative fee reduction scheme marks a significant stride toward fostering innovation and inclusivity within the European patent landscape, empowering smaller and less experienced organisations to protect their intellectual property and contribute to technological progress.


If you need additional information regarding any of the aforementioned schemes or any matters before the EPO in a broader context, kindly reach out to us.

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