☰ Menu
Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office
 

Amendment of Rule 51(1) EPC relating to the payment of renewal fees

December 18, 2017

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation held its 154th meeting in Munich on 13 and 14 December 2017. During the meeting, it approved to amend the wording of Rule 51(1) EPC to allow payment of the third year renewal fee up to six months before its due date. This enables all applicants to pay this renewal fee on regular entry into the European phase. The newly approved wording is shown in the table below:

Present wording Rule 51 Payment of renewal fees
(1) A renewal fee for the European patent application in respect of the coming year shall be due on the last day of the month containing the anniversary of the date of filing of the European patent application. Renewal fees may not be validly paid more than three months before they fall due.
Approved wording (Effective 1 April 2018) Rule 51 Payment of renewal fees
(1) A renewal fee for the European patent application in respect of the coming year shall be due on the last day of the month containing the anniversary of the date of filing of the European patent application. The renewal fee in respect of the third year may not be validly paid more than six months before it falls due. All other renewal fees may not be validly paid more than three months before they fall due.

The amended rule will enter into force on 1 April 2018 and will apply to all applications for which the renewal fee for the third year is paid on or after 1 April 2018. Please note that as a consequence:

  • the fee may not be validly paid more than three months in advance for applications for which the third year renewal fee falls due before 1 July 2018,
  • the fee can be validly paid as from 1 April 2018 for applications for which the third year renewal fee falls due between 1 July 2018 and 1 October 2018, and
  • the fee may be validly paid six months in advance for applications for which the third year renewal fee falls due on or after 1 October 2018.
Previous