Sunday, January 13, 2008

EPO Proposes Punitive Fees for Excess Claims

The European Patent Office has announced a new fee schedule that plans to go into effect on April 1, 2009. Under the new schedule, applicants filing more than 15 claims in an application will pay a fee of 200 € ($ 287) per each excess claim. If the claims exceed 50, the "per-claim" fee jumps to 500 € ($ 717) for each excess claim.

See EPO schedule here (link), courtesy of IPEG.

12 Comentários:

Tim Jackson said...

Note that the EUR 200 fee for each claim in excess of 15 applies from 1 April 2008 (not 2009). See here.

The 2009 adjustment adds the EUR 500 fee for claims in excess of 50.

They are also bringing forward the EUR 12 fee for each page of the specification in excess of 35. Presently this is payable with the grant fee, but from 1st April 2009 it will be payable on filing instead.

Anonymous said...


EPO is nothing but the money-collection bureacracy

I filed my EPO app back in early 2004 (from PCT)

No office action so far...

Charged me a maintence fee for patent year 6(!!!) with penalty
that's 1000 bucks considering bad exchange rate and additional fees

I regret so much that I wasted all the money in the first place
Time to quit playing this stupid charity (on my part) games with EPO, cause each year they want more and more of your money, without giving any meaningful patent protection in return

My advice to everybody (independent inventors and small startups): never ever file in the EPO - a HUGE WASTE of your money

Heck, if the current US "patent reform" passes I would change my advice to this:
never ever file for patent protection, use trade secrets if you can, if not then just forget about the whole invention business

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous independent inventor,if I were you, I should be grateful that the EPO hasn't issued your patent yet. As from issue, annuities are payable not to the EPO but instead to every national Patent Office where you are maintaining your patent. Would that be, in your case, all 34 EPO countries? Then there's the translation costs at issue, for the whole specification and into every involved language. Maybe you should do as Toyota does (pay for Germany and forget all the rest). Is anybody going to infringe? If that ever happens, you might be very happy that your app is still unexamined. Then you can i) sculpt the claims, ii) file a divisional (and maybe also a Gebrauchsmuster Abzweigung) iii)sue the infringer, and iv)ask for damages back to the WO publication of your PCT. BTW, who sold you the idea of filing at the EPO? Or did you think it up all by yourself? Don't tell me, you're financing your European filing programme from the income flowing into your bank account from your issued US patents, right? Or was it by any chance also a huge waste of your money to file at the USPTO?

Anonymous said...

"BTW, who sold you the idea of filing at the EPO? Or did you think it up all by yourself?"

Yeah, all by myself and *against* the advice of my US patent attorney... Pretty stupid, isn't it ?

Call it "the pride of invention"...
Once in your lifetime you can hit on something big and realize that this is the biggest thing in your career, the most valuable contribution of yours to the progress of humanity...
Of course nobody believes you so you have to finance the whole thing out of your own pocket...
Well, the pride is all gone by now
it's just sour grapes
US patent was granted after the first office action back in 2006 and it;s widely infringed, I believe...
the problem is that this thing is buried deeply inside some hightech products and I have no hard proof of infringement to go to contingency lawyers
it takes substantial resources to do reverse-engineering and then sue the big company in US court

Is it any cheaper in Europe ?

In US it takes at least 2-3 mil just to start going after infringers
I was unable to raise that kind of money so far without 100% proof of infringement and a reasonable certainty about prospective damage award...
Nobody gives a damn about your invention - it's all about money nowadays

Anonymous said...

"It's all about money" you say. I agree. "These days" you write, as if there was a time when it wasn't about money. You're not serious are you? In Europe, there are independent inventors who have taken out patents and quite recently become rich. Check out for example Ron Hickman's WORKMATE bench, and James Dyson's vacuum cleaner empire. But these two are exceptionally savvy at business, not just inventive geniuses. Mandy Haberman is another. These are three independent inventors who have succeeded in attracting investment, tons of it. Patent litigation in continental Europe is orders of magnitude cheaper but the money spoils are proportionately smaller. In Europe, you litigate to get the injunction. No such thing as a free lunch, I guess. Never was much sentimentality in business, and a lot of patents (yours as well, maybe)don't survive the attacks on validity that are the inevitable consequence of asserting them.

Anonymous said...

"In Europe, you litigate to get the injunction. No such thing as a free lunch, I guess."

You mean a non-manufactoring patenteee can actually get some infringing products banned from the European market ?

That would be just perfect...

I am thinking of suing some company in Asia which sells a lot of infringing technology items to large OEMs in USA and in Europe
In US I can only hope to get some damages, hopefully suffucuent to attract contingency lawyers...
After Ebay decision injunctions are largely unavailable to small non-manufactoring patent holders in US
(Unless you sue in ITC which is also a possibility)
What about Europe ?
Can a small inventor from US stop some Asian company from importing infringing items to Europe ?

I don't have to worry about validity of my patent: the EPO PCT search (very good search) produced no relevant results, only category A general references

Anonymous said...

In Europe, we still think that a patent is a right to exclude. How else does one exclude, except by the grant of injunctive relief? But we don't enjoin on the basis of a claim that's invalid. No presumption of validity in Europe. No need for "clear and convincing" evidence to strike a claim down, just a "balance of probability" that the claim is bad. BTW, Europe gives no deference to the work of the PTO prior to issue. You assert and it will unleash a storm of attacks ion the validity of your claims. You will be surprised by the creativity of the attackers. You will be dismayed by the reaction of your attorneys. But, don't despair, if the claims hold up, and the budget is there, you ought to prevail. Sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me, except for one little gotcha:

If some Asian company distributes infringing goodies in all of the largest European countries, say England, Germany and France, do I have to sue that Asian company separately in each of those countries ?
What kind of budget are we talking here ?
It might be much more expensive than suing a whole bunch of companies in a single US Federal Court of Marshall, TX, if you have to separatly sue in each separate country covered by your European patent.

I think European countries should get their act together and create a single European patent court, e.g. like CAFC in US
Makes it more predictable

Bis repetita said...

To anonymous:
if you want a fast track, just look for the accelerated examination request (key word "PACE" ?) on the EPO web site.
It doesn't cost much if anything. And it is fast. Really.
EPO is normally in no hurry, because applicants are usually in no hurry, for the reasons stated above.

For the infringement across Europe: They talk about it, but it moves at a glacial pace. EU + non EU meber states+ renouncement of state powers to foreign bodies + language mess...
No accelerated track here.

Anonymous said...

Infringement proceedings in Europe go at a glacial pace. Really? Sure of that? Good luck, I say! There speaks a reader unaware of last week's announcement of the President of the District Court of Braunschweig that, during the pendency of the big business fairs in the Hannover Messe this year, he will be open from 6am for the grant of interlocutory injunctive relief, as soon as patent infringements appear on exhibition stands. Analogous services offered by the competent courts in NL and GB. My advice to readers, take care to employ competent local patent counsel, when you venture into Europe.

Bis repetita said...


the glacial pace referred to the political work and the lobbying supposed to lead or not someday to an single or unified infringement process across Europe or the EUalternatively.
Not to the effciency of any single state's infringement process.

Anonymous said...

...and those who would litigate in Europe have at the moment a choice of forum. You can take the instant interlocutory injunction from the Brauschweig court, or go for full English fact-finding, with discovery and cross-examination, in London. The German and English litigation communities vie with each other for the business. Competition between shops improves the level of service from all shops. What a shame if the politicians throw it all away, in favour of an EU system, because that really would be glacial.


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