The Administrative Council of the EPO has announced a general fee increase to enter into effect for any fees paid on or after 1 April 2012. All fees, due both on and after filing, and all of the Renewal fees, will be increasing by between 5% and 10% as of that date.
For European patent applications, the relevant fees payable are determined by the date upon which those fees are paid (rather than when they might be due). 31 March and 1 April 2012 fall across a weekend, however. Therefore, we recommend that you provide us with your instructions, where possible, to pay any fees due over the next few months, on or before 30 March 2012.
We would however remind you that current EPO rules do not permit payment of Renewal fees more than 3 months before the due date.
The fees payable to the EPO as Receiving Office for International (PCT) patent applications are also increasing from 1 April 2012. However in this case it is the date of FILING of the PCT application that determines the level of fees payable: to take advantage of the current, lower fees, any PCT application must be lodged with the EPO no later than 30 March 2012 (again, the EPO being closed for filing purposes on 31 March and 1 April).