European Patent Annuities

Author:Mr Jeff Sweetman
Profession:inovia LLC
 
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inovia doesn't directly manage payment of patent annuities (unless they're due at national phase entry), but the topic comes up frequently with clients who use our foreign filing platform to validate their European patents.

Background

Before a European patent application is granted, renewal fees are paid to the EPO to keep the application pending. A renewal fee is initially payable at the end of the month within which the two-year anniversary of the original filing date falls, and then annually on the same date while the European application is pending.

For PCT cases, the "original filing date" is the PCT international filing date (note: this is not the date the application entered the European regional phase). Note, however, that if the deadline falls before the 31 month deadline, it is automatically extended to that date without penalty. This will happen if there was no priority document, or the PCT application was lodged only a few months after the earliest priority document.

For non-PCT cases (i.e. those filed directly into Europe), the original filing date is the date that the European application was filed.

In both cases, the priority date is not relevant to calculating when the...

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