Following on from the announcements made at the end of last year (noted by the IPKat here), the EPO have now filled in the details of what is going to happen come next month (1 April 2008), when many of the fees payable for European patents and patent applications will be increasing, some (much) more than others. The announcements on fees and other related matters are as follows:
- Fee changes, including renewal fees, claims fees, dates and methods of payment and automatic debiting;
- Search and examination fees;
- Administrative fees and expenses; and
- Refunds of search fees by EPO acting as ISA (together with amounts of refunds).
The IPKat, who hasn't been through all the changes in detail, can see that this is an awful lot to take in, but can say with complete confidence that things are not getting any cheaper for anybody. Two hundred Euros sounds like a lot to pay for each excess claim, given the added benefit extra claims give (usually none) and the extra examination work required for each extra dependent claim (usually none), so applicants should be thinking a bit harder about whether it's better to go for a trim rather than waste money paying for EPO staff pensions on claims they don't really need. When it comes to claims from next month, think Agnyess Dean rather than Naomi Campbell.