From 6 April 2018, the UK Intellectual Property Office (“UKIPO”, or “UK Patent Office”) will be changing its fee structure.
The UK Patent Office remains one of the least expensive patent offices in which to file and prosecute a patent application.
The fee increases are the result of extensive consultation, and are designed to bring the fees charged for patent applications more in-line with the actual costs to the UKIPO of processing them. For electronically-filed applications, the changes are as folloows:
The application (filing) fee increases from £20 to £60. Before now, it was possible to defer paying the filing fee by up to one year without penalty. Deferred payment of the filing fee is still possible, albeit with a 25% (£15) surcharge.
The search fee increases from £130 to £150, plus a new claims fee of £20 for the 26th and each additional claim. Previously, there were no claims fees in the UKIPO, but seeing as the number of claims greatly increases the time needed, and hence the cost (to the UKIPO) of carrying out the search, a new excess claims fee has been added.
The examination fee increases from £80 to £100, plus a new pages fee of £10 per page for the 36th and each subsequent page of description. The page count only includes the description, but not the claims, abstract and drawings pages. Again, previously, there were no excess pages fees in the UKIPO, but seeing as the overall length of the description affects the time needed, and hence the cost (to the UKIPO) of carrying out the examination procedure, a new excess pages fee has been introduced.
Previously, there was no issue or grant fee for UK patents. However, for UK patents granted after 6 April 2018, where an application grants and the number of claims or pages present in the application is greater than the number of claims/pages for which page and/or claims fees have been paid earlier in the process, the balance will be payable at the grant stage. A new form (Form 34) has been introduced to deal with this.
The above fees all apply to UK patents and applications, as well as UK national phase applications.
The fee increases do not apply to European patents that are validated in the UK, as the corresponding fees (grant, excess pages and claims fees) have already been paid to the EPO.
For information on renewal fee increases, please click here.
If you require any further information, please contact us.