EPO Amends EPC Rule on Payment of Renewal Fees
During a meeting held in Munich, Germany on December 13 and 14, 2017, the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organization amended Rule 51(1) of the European Patent Convention to allow payment of the 3rd annuity fee for European patent applications up to six months before its due date.
Until now, no annuities could be paid earlier than three months before they were due. The amendment changes this for 3rd annuities, enabling applicants to pay such annuity at the same time as the fees related to the entry of their application into the European phase. All other annuities will still have to be paid no earlier than three months in advance.
The amended rule will enter into force on April 1, 2018 and will affect all applications for which the third-year renewal fee is due on or after July 1, 2018. This means that:
For applications for which the 3rd annuity is due between July 1, 2018 and October 1, 2018, the fee can be paid as of April 1, 2018;
For applications for which the 3rd annuity is due on or after October 1, 2018, the fee may be paid up to six months in advance.
If the 3rd annuity is due before July 1, 2018, it may not be paid earlier than three months in advance.
By: Nada Herak
For more information, please contact Nada Herak at our Serbia office.
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