Is it a maintenance fee, a renewal fee, or an annuity fee? The answer is they have really all become synonymous with each other – the term used is dependent on which country you are in. Maintenance or renewal fees are paid to maintain a pending application or granted patent in force. In countries where fees are paid annually, they are called patent annuities.
1. European Patent Renewal basics
European patent renewals are payable every year while the application is pending. The first renewal fee is due from the third anniversary of the filing date of the application and is payable on the last day of the month containing the anniversary of the filing date. For Euro-PCT applications, European regional phase entries of a Patent Cooperation Treaty application, if the third-year renewal fee would be due earlier than the 31-month entry deadline for entry into the European regional phase, the renewal will not fall due until the expiry of the 31-month deadline.
According to Rule 51(1) with effect from 1 April 2018 the third-year renewal fee can be paid up to 6 months before the renewal deadline. For example, an application with a filing date of 15 December 2017 the third-year renewal fee is due 31 December 2019 but can be paid starting from 30 June 2019.
All subsequent renewals can be paid up to 3 months before the renewal deadline.
If a renewal fee payment is made before the allowed early payment window (6 months prior to the third-year renewal or 3 months for each subsequent year) the payment will not be valid, and the fee paid will be refunded.
The amount of renewal fees payable can be found here: