Applicants May Save Money By Paying Fees to the EPO By Credit Card

By: Francesca Giovannini

As a part of its ongoing drive to fully digitize all patent processes, the European Patent Office (EPO) has decided to no longer accept written instructions for payment of patent fees starting December 1, 2017. Debit orders are now accepted and only processed electronically using Online Filing (EPOLINE), new online filing (CMS), Online Fee Payment, or ePCT. The payment option via bank transfers remains unaffected. 

More notably, the EPO has newly introduced a web-based method of payment by credit card. Users of the new online payment service simply have to register with an email address as user name and a password (link). Payments must be made in euro. Authorized credit cards are, for the time being, Mastercard and Visa. Once the payment is successfully made, a printable confirmation is promptly sent to the user.  

Since all official fees may be validly paid by any person, it is now easier for Applicants to pay any fee due to the EPO. However, since most of the official fees are due in combination with the filing of documents, we believe that the credit card payment option might be particularly useful to pay renewal fees. Applicants who wish to save money and pay renewal fees directly, without intermediate agents, may consider this new option.