EPO Updates – Extension State Grace Period & Changes in EP-PCT Fees

Extension State Grace Period:

Where the deadline for paying designation/extension fees (i.e. the “normal period”) expires on or after 1 January 2010:

If the fee for an extension state has not been paid within the normal period, the applicant can pay the extension fee in combination with a 50% surcharge:

a) within two months of expiry of the basic period (“re-introduced grace period”) or

b) within two months of notification of a communication of loss of rights with regard to the omitted payment of a designation fee (applies at present).

[see http://www.epo.org/patents/law/legal-texts/journal/informationEPO/archive/20091102.html ]


Changes in EP-PCT Fees

From 1 January 2010, there are minor changes to the International Fee and E-Filing reductions for PCT applications filed at the EPO:
International filing fee: from EUR 848 to EUR 878
Fee per sheet in excess of 30: EUR 10 (unchanged)
Reductions:
* Electronic filing (the request being in character coded format) from EUR 128 to EUR 132
* Electronic filing (in character coded format) from EUR 191 to EUR 198
Handling fee: from EUR 121 to EUR 132

Early Advent Present from the EPO

The EPO has released a draft version of the Guidelines for Examination that will come into force in April 2010:

http://www.epo.org/patents/law/legal-texts/guidelines-2010.html

Lest we forget that these Guidelines are not in force, and may change in whole or part, “DRAFT” is helpfully watermarked across each page.

My favourite sections (of the Complete PDF) so far include:
– pages 84 to 88 discussing the new divisional rules
– pages 121/122 and 385-387 on the Rule 161 changes
– page 182 on Internet Searches
– pages 211 to 216 on changes to Search Procedure
– pages 250/251 on the response to the Search Opinion
– pages 290/291/307 on R.43(2) communication
– pages 335 to 340 on Disclosure (incl. Internet and “non-traditional”)
– pages 354/355 on Inventive Step
– pages 403 to 406 on R.137(4) communication