For claim fees the European Patent Office (EPO) has established a two-tier system:
In standard cases no translation costs are involved.
The designation, examination and extension fees are payable within six months of the publication of the European Search.
In a usual case it may take four to six years from filing till grant of a European patent.
We require the following documents and information for filing:
For European patent applications filed on or after 1 July 2014, the EPO strives to issue the extended / partial search report within 6 months from the filing date or from expiry of the period under Rule 161(2) EPC. So no request for accelerated search is needed.
For European patent applications filed before 1 July 2014 and claiming priority, the EPO makes every effort to issue the extended / partial European search report within 6 months from the request for accelerated search.
There are no substantive requirements for requesting accelerated examination. In particular neither reasons need to be given nor office fees are payable. The attorney's fee is 200 EUR.
A request for accelerated examination can only be filed once during the examination procedure.
Accelerated examination will be terminated if:
When accelerated examination is requested, the EPO makes every effort to issue its next office action within 3 months of the request for accelerated examination or the applicant's response to the Communication under Rule 70a or under Rule 161(1) EPC, whichever is latest.
The EPO strives to produce subsequent examination communications within 3 months of receipt of the applicant's reply, provided that the application is still being processed under accelerated examination.
Further, it is possible to branch off a German utility model in order to obtain a full IPR in Germany within 4 to 8 weeks in order to be in a position to take legal action against imminent infringement.
The important argument in favor of acceleration is that the total amount of renewal fees payable to the national offices after grant will likely be less than the corresponding renewal fee payable to the EPO before grant, provided that you want to maintain the European patent after the grant in up to 4 or 5 countries only.
Arguments against acceleration are that a long examination procedure allows you to postpone grant and validation costs and react on infringement to a limited degree. Further, it is more difficult for your competitors to evaluate the scope of protection of a patent application than to evaluate the scope of protection of a patent due to possible changes of an application.
The likelihood of an infringement law suit is low in general. Consequently, for the most European patent applications, arguments based on infringement are of minor importance.
This page should not be construed as legal advice.
No responsibility is accepted for the correctness of the official fees. The attorney's fees indicated on this page are minimum charges of the law firm Dr.-Ing. Hellmich which may be raised in urgent or difficult cases.
This page does not constitute an offer but rather "invitatio ad offerendum" (invitation to make an offer).