Views are sought by the Intellectual Property Office on the following two options for significant overall increases in statutory patent fees 

  • increases across the board to pre-grant patent application fees, with no change to post-grant renewal fees
  • smaller changes to pre-grant fees, compensated for by increases in annual post-grant renewal fees

The increases would be the first since 2010 and are necessary to fund investment in electronic services and increased examination capacity – which would, in turn, lead to improved customer services through more online access and faster processing times.

The IPO does not envisage making any changes – which would require legislation – until October 2017.

‘Proposed changes to statutory patents fees’ * lists the 4 proposals for pre-grant application increases that comprise Option 1 as

1)  changes to the basic application fee (e.g. an increase from £30 to £90 in the fee for paper applications, where the fee is paid when the application is filed)

2)  changes to the basic fees for search and substantive examination (e.g. the fee for requesting a search filed on paper would be £180, with requests filed electronically £150)

3)  a new £30 fee for each of the 16th and subsequent claims in a patent application

4)  a new £10 fee for each additional page over the initial 35 ages of description

The Option 2 alternative would be to increase fees by £10 pa for each year they fall due and halve the up-front fees proposed in Option 1.

* Includes links to the government response to the IPO’s earlier proposal for changes to registered design fees.