UKIPO Fee Changes
19 March 2018 - The official fees for filing a UK patent application will change from 6 April 2018; the new fees and other information can be found on the UK IPO website. With these fee changes, the UK IPO hopes to maintain its internationally-competitive fee structure and modern, high-quality and efficient services.
Existing official fees, including for requesting a prior art search and a substantive examination, will be increased from this date and certain new fees will be introduced. The new fees will include claim fees and excess page fees: each claim over 25 will incur a claim fee of £20, and each page of the description over 35 pages will incur a page fee of £10. Similar kinds of fees are already charged for European patent applications, although at least the UK claims fees will be substantially lower than the European fees. In addition, there will be a surcharge of £15 for late payment of the application fee. These should amount to a total increase of at least about £100 to the current official fee for filing a new UK patent application, excluding claims and excess page fees. Even so, the UK IPO fees are relatively low compared to those in many other countries and regions.
The new claims fee will apply where the search fee is paid from 6th April 2018, and the new excess page fee will apply where the request for substantive examination is paid from this date. There will be exceptions to excess claims fees where a supplementary search, or a search in respect of a further invention, is requested.
In view of these fee changes, applicants should consider paying the application fee on filing to avoid the risk of incurring the surcharge, and limiting the number of claims to 25 and limiting the number pages of the description to 35, or to as few claims and pages as possible in excess of these numbers. If the applicant wants to reduce the number of claims in a filed application before filing the search request, they should bear in mind that amendments before the search report is issued would require the UK IPO’s consent. In addition, the applicant should consider paying the search and examination fees before 6th April 2018.