On 6 April 2018, the UK Government has introduced a number of changes to the fees for applying for patent protection and renewing granted patents. The current and new fees can be found here.
The fees have been changed quite remarkably. For example, the application fee increased from £30 to £90, the Search Fee from £150 to £180, the introduction of the new fees for each claim over 25 (£20 each) and for each page of description over 35 (£10 each) was made. Only the number of pages of description will be counted and excess page fees will not be charged in respect of drawings or pages of claims unlike practice before the European Patent Office (EPO) and World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO).
A new grant fee will be charged if there is an increase in the number of claims over 25, or an increase in the number of pages over 35, after payment of the search or examination fee. Renewal fees are set to increase by £10 per year for each year from year 12 onwards.
The UK IPO informs that the fee changes are intended to meet the following objectives: Maintain an internationally-competitive fee structure, based on modern, high-quality and efficient services for the customer; Achieve a modest shift towards prompt cost recovery, whilst continuing to meet the bulk of the IPO costs of granting a patent from renewal fees rather than at the time the pre-grant work is carried out; Maintain a sustainable income on reasonable assumptions to finance the IPO’s future activities; Encourage good filing practices by applicant.
It is worth remembering that it is still possible to file an application to establish a filing date without having to pay any fees at all. It will still continue to be cost effective to request a search to be carried out by the UK IPO, comparing to the search fees in other patent offices.
If you have any questions about the new fees or patenting in UK, please do not hesitate to contact us.