Changes to UK Patent Fees

From 6 April 2018 official fees for UK patents and applications are increasing, the first significant increase in many years. The increases are listed below. As has been the UK Intellectual Property Office’s practice in the past fees are reduced if the related forms are filed online, and the search fee is reduced for international patent applications entering the UK national phase.

Online filings

Patent Fees

Old Fee

New Fee

Application fee

£20

£60

Search fee

£130

£150

Search fee for international application entered into the UK

 

£100

 

£120

 

Substantive Examination fee

£80

£100


Paper filings

Patent Fees

Old Fee

New Fee

Application fee

£30

£90

Search fee

£150

£180

Search fee for international application entered into the UK

 

£120

 

£150

 

Substantive Examination fee

£100

£130

 

Renewal fees

Year

Old Fee

New Fee

5th year

£70

£70

6th year

£90

£90

7th year

£110

£110

8th year

£130

£130

9th year

£150

£150

10th year

£170

£170

11th year

£190

£190

12th year

£210

£220

13th year

£250

£260

14th year

£290

£300

15th year

£350

£360

16th year

£410

£420

17th year

£460

£470

18th year

£510

£520

19th year

£560

£570

20th year

£600

£610


Given the increased difference between the new online and paper filing fees, the UKIPO is further incentivising the use of the online filing system.

In addition to the increases, the UKIPO is also creating a number of new official fees:

  • a surcharge of 25% will be applied to the application fee if it is paid after the date of filing the application (£15 for online filings, £22.50 for paper filings);
  • an excess claims fee of £20 for each claim over 25 is payable when the search fee is due;
  • an excess pages fee of £10 for each page over 35 is payable when the substantive examination fee is due; and
  • a grant fee, comprising any excess claims or pages fees not yet paid, will be payable for applications within two months of the intention of grant notification.

In relation to the grant fee, fees will be due on grant only if additional claims over 25 or pages over 35 have been added during prosecution. Otherwise an application will proceed automatically to grant (as now).

The surcharge on the application fee gives an incentive to always pay the application fee on filing, while the introduction of the excess claims and pages fees appears to be an attempt to reduce the length of applications and/or help cover the additional cost of examining longer applications with more claims – and is similar to the approach taken by the European Patent Office.

We already file documents on line at the UKIPO wherever possible to take advantage of fee savings. It will now make sense to keep the number of claims and pages of patent applications below the excess fee thresholds where appropriate. That said, official fees for UK patents continue to represent very good value and any additional costs incurred in excess claims or pages fees are likely to be easily justified where seeking best protection for an invention necessitates exceeding the thresholds.

Note that it will be possible in some circumstances to avoid paying an increased fee by paying a fee early, notably renewal and substantive examination fees.

If you would like any advice on the changes or on any other aspects of filing a patent application, please contact us.


© 2018 Wilson Gunn