EPO - European Patent Office

The European Patent Office (EPO) has recently announced a new fee system aimed at bolstering support for small enterprises and individual inventors.

This initiative, effective from the 1st April 2024, offers discounts of 30% on various fees for European patent applications made by so-called “micro-entities”, which are defined as being either (a) companies with fewer than 10 employees and a turnover under €2m, or, (b) individual inventors.

The move aligns with the EPO’s commitment to fostering innovation and easing the patent process for smaller entities.

One of the primary objectives of this new fee structure is to incentivize small companies and individual innovators to protect their intellectual property.

By offering substantial discounts, the EPO aims to lower the financial barriers that often hinder smaller entities from pursuing patent protection.

This move is particularly significant in promoting a level playing field across all sectors and underscores the EPO’s dedication to supporting inventors at every stage of the patent process.

By reducing financial burdens and streamlining procedures, the initiative seeks to empower small companies and individual applicants to navigate the patent landscape more effectively. Moreover, it aligns the EPO with broader efforts to promote entrepreneurship and economic growth by safeguarding intellectual property rights.

We believe the introduction of this new fee system represents a positive step towards improving access to patent protection within Europe for smaller entities that might otherwise have been costed out of the European patent system.

As the initiative unfolds, it looks set to stimulate increased patent filings from smaller entities and thereby drive forward technological advancements and economic prosperity in the region.