Higher UKIPO Fees Announced

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has announced that some of the fees they charge in connection with UK patents and patent applications will be increasing, with effect from 6th April 2018.  For the most part, the planned increases in official fees are fairly modest.  For example, the search fee is going up from £130 to £150, the examination fee is increasing from £80 to £100, and the annual renewal fee payable to maintain patents from years 12 to 20 (the maximum term allowed) is increasing by £10 per annum. The biggest hike is the initial application fee, which will rise from £20 currently to £60 in April.  This reflects one of UKIPO’s objectives in making the fee changes, which is to recoup more of their operating costs at an early stage in the life of a patent rather than, as at present, relying heavily on renewal fee income, which arises only once a patent application is at least 4 years old.

In addition to increases in existing official fees, UKIPO is introducing some new fees – an “excess claims” fee for applications containing more than 25 claims, and an “excess pages” fee for applications having a description containing more than 35 pages.  The excess claims fee, if applicable, is payable when requesting a UKIPO search of a patent application, whilst the excess pages fee is payable, if applicable, when requesting examination.

Readers will appreciate that there may be some cost savings to be made by paying official fees at the current lower rate, before the new fees come into effect on 6th April.  In particular, it may be advisable to request search and/or examination of UK applications before 6th April if excess claims fees and/or excess pages fees would otherwise be incurred.  We will be contacting clients to highlight existing UK patent cases where cost savings might be available, but if you are aware of potential new UK patent filings, it would be sensible to bring these to our attention as soon as possible.

If you have any questions then please get in touch with your usual contact at Nash Matthews.