FAQ about Patent Fees
Frequently asked questions on patent fees
Where can I find information on the rates of application fees?
The application fee rates applicable since 1 October 2009 are set out in the fee numbers 311 000, 311 050 and 311 100 of the Annex to Section 2(1) of the Patent Costs Act (Patentkostengesetz).
A detailed description of these fee rates can be found in the Information for Patent Applicants and in the form Hinweise zu Gebühren in Patentsachen (in German), which are also available on the Internet.
What happens if the application fee has not been paid in full within the three-month period, e.g. because not all additional amounts due for more than ten patent claims have been paid?
In the event of non-payment or insufficient payment of the application fee, the entire patent application will be deemed withdrawn pursuant to Section 6(2) of the Patent Costs Act. No separate notification about the outstanding fee or the outstanding difference will be sent out.
Can the application fee increase over the course of the grant procedure?
Pursuant to Section 3(1), first sentence and second sentence, no. 5 of the Patent Costs Act, a fee shall also be due if the original application is amended, resulting in a higher fee for the procedure. If the number of patent claims increases over the course of the patent grant procedure so that a higher application fee would be due compared to the application fee already paid, the difference must be paid subsequently.
The difference is due when the German Patent and Trade Mark Office receives the additional number of patent claims. You have three months from the due date to pay the amount. If the due fee is not paid or not paid in full within the three months, the other action (i.e. the filing of the new set of claims) is deemed not to have been carried out and the subsequently filed patent claims are not taken into account. The previously submitted set of claims remains unchanged and is still pending. If the number of claims is reduced during the grant procedure, this does not affect the amount of the fee.
How is this difference calculated? What happens if the application was originally filed electronically but the new set of claims is filed on paper?
The amount of the difference is always determined by the form of the originally filed application. This means that for applications originally filed on paper, fee number 311 100 will also apply in the ongoing procedure and for applications originally filed electronically, the fee numbers 311 000 or 311 050, respectively, will apply.
What application fee is due for a divisional application that contains fewer claims than the parent application?
The application fee payable for the divisional application is the same as the fee paid for the parent application, even if the claims of the parent application were reduced during the grant procedure before the division.
When do I have to pay the increased application fee for auxiliary requests?
An increased fee for auxiliary requests may only be due if the examiner decided on the auxiliary request and if the auxiliary request contains more patent claims than the main request. The decision on grant or rejection contains a reference to the decision on the auxiliary request and whether a difference must be paid in relation to the application fee already paid. The difference is calculated according to the number of additional claims in comparison to the main request.
How is the amount of the filing fee for the entry into the national phase calculated?
The amount of the national filing fee of an international application (Art. III para.4(2), first sentence, Act on International Patent Conventions [Gesetz über internationale Patentabkommen]) is determined by the schedule of fees referred to by Section 2(1) of the Patent Costs Act. Fee numbers 311 150 (60 euros) and 311 160 (30 euros for the eleventh and each additional claim) apply to the entry into the national phase of patent applications.
How much is the filing fee if the number of claims changes before or upon entry into the national phase?
The filing fee is calculated on the basis of the number of claims originally filed at the foreign receiving office, since the filing fee is due upon filing the international application at the foreign receiving office.
If the number of claims is reduced before or upon entry into the national phase before the DPMA in comparison to the original claims, this does not affect the amount of the filing fee. The fee payable will not be reduced.
If the number of claims rises, the filing fee is calculated on the basis of the number of changed claims, provided these are intended to be taken into account in the further procedure.
Does this also apply if the PCT application was filed at the DPMA?
If the DPMA is designated office as well as receiving office, the national filing fee is deemed to be paid upon payment of the transmittal fee (Art. III para. 4(2), second sentence, Act on International Patent Conventions). Since this applies irrespective of the number of claims filed, the filing fee cannot change due to an increase in the number of patent claims, even during the procedure.
Do you have any further questions or do you need more information?
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Last updated: 10 August 2019