The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced its usual biannual increase in the official fees charged for European patent applications, which will take effect from 1 April 2022. In general, the official fees are increasing by approximately 3%.
As part of its plans to go completely paperless, the European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that from 1 April 2022 where possible grant certificates will be issued electronically rather than in paper form.
From 1 April 2022, where the patent proprietor or their EP representative has an EPO Mailbox, as Dehns does, the EP grant certificate will be issued in electronic format via the Mailbox rather than on paper. These electronically issued certificates for a European patent will be a digital colour document which can be stored electronically and forwarded digitally and/or printed in colour.
In parallel with the transition to an electronic certificate for a European patent, the EPO has also refreshed the layout and content of the certificate; the following information will additionally appear on a certificate from 1 April 2022:
If you do not already have electronic files set up to store your patent related correspondence, we advise that you give consideration to how you will store the electronic grant certificates once we start forwarding these to you from 1 April.
Certified copies of the grant certificate with the specification annexed will still be issued on paper by the EPO upon request and will incur an administrative fee – further information can be found at: European Patent Office (epo.org).
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently ran a consultation regarding implementation of electronic patent issuance. It appears likely that they will start issuing electronic patent and trade mark certificates later this year. Further details of the proposal can be found here: Director’s Forum: A Blog from USPTO’s Leadership.
Dehns will issue an alert once the date for this change has been confirmed.
If you would like more information on how these changes may affect your business, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.