In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the EPO has decided (see here and here) to introduce a temporary waiver of the additional fee payable when a renewal fee is paid late. 

Usually, under Rule 51(2) EPC, if a renewal fee is not paid by the due date (which is the last day of the month containing the anniversary of the date of filing of the European patent application), then the renewal fee can be validly paid within six months of the due date provided that an additional fee of 50% of the renewal fee is also paid. 

The EPO has decided to waive the additional fee from 1 June 2020 until 31 August 2020 in respect of European patent applications where a renewal fee fell due on or after 15 March 2020 and the renewal fee was not paid by the due date.

Please see here for a summary of the measures currently being taken by the EPO and other patent offices in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally published 29 May, 2020

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