Official fee discount at EPO for micro-entities

If you are a micro-entity (microenterprise, natural person, non-profit organisation, university or public research organisation) and the European patent application was filed by a micro-entity, then you may be eligible for a discount on some official fees.

We are unable to advise you on whether or not you qualify. However, we can provide the following information:

The current reduction is defined in Art 14(1) of the Rules relating to fees.

The eligibility criteria are defined at Rule 7a(2) to (6) & Rule 7b.

The reduction of fees is available where all applicants are (at the date of fee payment): a microenterprise, a natural person, a non-profit organisation, a university or a public research organisation (Rule 7a(2)& (6))

The fees that can be reduced are: filing fee, search fee, exam fee, designation fee, grant fee, renewal fees (Rule 7a(3))

There is a low-filing ‘cap’ condition based on the number of filings the applicant has made in the previous five years. It must be less than 5 (Rule 7a(4)).

“Microenterprise” is defined in Article 2 of Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 as published in the European Union's Official Journal (L 124 of 20 May 2003, p. 36) in Annex 2. At this time , a microenterprise is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total does not exceed EUR 2 million.

"Non-profit organisations" are defined as organisations which, by virtue of their legal form or statutes, are not permitted under the relevant law to be a source of income, profit or other financial gain for their owners, or, where they are permitted to make a profit, there is a legal or statutory obligation to reinvest the profits made in the interest of the organisation.

"Universities" are defined as classic" universities, i.e. higher education and research institutions as defined by the relevant legislation. However, comparable institutions, such as secondary or higher education establishments, are considered to be universities.

"Public research organisations" are defined as entities such as universities or research institutes that are organised under public law and which, irrespective of the way they are financed, have as their primary goal the conduct of fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development and the dissemination of the results by way of teaching, publication or technology transfer. All profits must be reinvested in carrying out these activities, in the dissemination of the results or in teaching.

Eligibility is independent of nationality or domicile.

If you are eligible and would like us to claim a discount then please complete this form and send it to your attorney at Swindell & Pearson Ltd.

Any information provided on or through this web-page, is provided on an information-only basis and does not constitute legal advice. Any duty of care arising and/or liability is strictly limited to the payment made to Swindell and Pearson Ltd (if any) to access this web-page. The information on this page was last updated 05/04/2024. It is not necessarily up-to-date. No warranty is given as to the current accuracy of the information.