The European Patent Office management has put forward a proposal to reduce its fees. If adopted by the Member States of the European Patent Organisation in December, the PCT search fee and the examination fee will be reduced by €100 each. Additionally, the 50% reduction of the EPO’s examination fee that already applies to applications that were examined by the EPO during the international phase of the PCT will be increased to a 75% reduction. This will be good news for applicants using the EPO as the International Searching Authority and International Examining Authority, as the fee saving would be €656.
There are also plans to extend the agreement providing cost reductions for SMEs and universities, and to reduce the fee that the EPO charges to national offices who outsource search work to the EPO. Additionally, the EPO proposes not to apply inflation-based fee increases in 2018-2020. We congratulate the EPO for these proposals and await confirmation in December.