European Patent maintenance. EPO’s annuities payment

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¨The processing of European Patents requires the payment of annuities for the maintenance until granting.¨

european patent maintenancePatenting in Europe presents the administrative curiosity of requiring the payment of annuities for the maintenance from the processing to the granting of the patent in the European Patent Office (EPO). If the payment of such annuities is not made within the accorded terms, the pending patent is lost becoming part of the prior art and of public domain.


In this situation of loss for non-payment of maintenance there is the possibility of restoring the right within a maximum period of one year, as long as some evidence of a greater cause are provided along with the filing of the application.

Obviously, since the processing of a European Patent by its very nature implies a period of more than 2 years, the first 2 annuities for maintenance are included in the application fee. From the third year begins the payment of maintenance until granting. It is worth noting that the more years of processing have a European patent, the higher is its maintenance fee.

European patent maintenance: terms for the payment european patent annuities

  • Payments for the maintenance of a European Patent which is being processed can be made from 3 months before the reference date. This reference is the first application date.

  • Besides, maintenance fees can be paid with a penalty of a 50% on the rate up to 6 months later. Obviously this is not the higher recommended option.

Once the patent is granted and the validation of the European patent is made, the maintenance of each patent shall be subject to the payment corresponding to the office of the country concerned.

An experienced Industrial Property agency such as Protectia will notify you in time about the upcoming maintenance fee of your European Patent, will make the payment under your specific instructions; moreover, you will be able to count on its support and collaboration  throughout all the process, the validation and subsequent defence of the patent.

Are you interested in the maintenance of a European Patent?

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