Intellectual Property Alert: EPO Gets Tough on Complex Applications

On 14 December 2007, the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation announced significant increases in the official fees for European patent applications with effect from 1 April 2008 that will

mainly affect complex applications comprising numerous claims or lengthy prosecution.

Currently, applicants must pay €45 for each claim in excess of the 10th. As of 1 April 2008, this fee is being increased by more than 400% to €200 per claim in excess of the 15th, which for applications comprising 24 or

more claims may make it more economical for applicants to pursue two separate applications in parallel instead of a single case, leaving aside the effect of annual maintenance fees that must be paid for the 3rd and each

subsequent year while a European patent application is pending before the EPO.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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