Monday 20 July 2009

It'll cost your client (a little bit) more ...

A public consultation setting out proposed changes to current patent fees was today announced by the UK's Intellectual Property Office. Among other things,
"Modest renewal fee increases are proposed; an increase in search and examination fees for businesses looking to get a patent is also reviewed, but this is linked to an increased discount for e-filed search and examination requests".
According to the press release,
"The main proposals include:

* Some increases to patent renewal fees, chiefly for mature patents
* An increase in patent search and examination fees but with a larger discount for e-filed search and examination requests
* The introduction of an excess claims fee, and
* The introduction of a litigation fee for contested patent proceedings at the Intellectual Property Office".
You've got till 12 October 2009 to respond, if you fancy doing so. In case you wondered, David Lammy, Minister of State for Intellectual Property is quoted as saying:
"Patent fees must be set at levels which allow innovative businesses and individuals in the UK and beyond to access and enjoy the benefits of protecting their intellectual property.

But I also want to ensure that businesses have a functioning and value-generating IP system that supports and encourages innovation in the UK. The Intellectual Property Office needs a sustainable income to continue providing this service to its customers.

It’s important to realise that UK patent fees are, and would still remain, some of the lowest in the world even if these proposals go ahead. These low fees continue to offer the attractive choice of national IP protection for UK innovators".
The review has also considered and made proposals on changes to IPO fees for handling international patent applications and the fees for recording transactions on designs, patents and trade marks. You have been warned ... This is also a good opportunity for engaging with clients -- it's time to remind them that what they don't do now for less they can do later for more.

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