Report of the Committee on EPO Finances

J. Boff (GB), ChairJ. Boff (GB), Chair

The matter of fees is active again. At the Budget and Finance Committee meeting of 23rd / 24th October, approval was given for an upwards review of fees to come into effect 1st April 2020. This approval needs to be followed by a corresponding decision of the Administrative Council, but is likely to go ahead.

If approved by the Administrative Council, most fees will increase by 4% [about 8% above the actual inflation figure of 3.7%] with the appeal fee increasing by 20%. The fee for International Search and for International Preliminary Examination remain unchanged, as part of a policy of decreasing the difference between EP and PCT fees.

Despite extremely short notice, epi submitted a paper in advance of the Budget and Finance Committee meeting drawing attention to the damaging effect of accumulated above-inflation fee increases, and on the particular problem of the increase in appeal fee.

One positive proposal is to abolish the 10% surcharge of Article 7 RRF. This reflects the reality of modern banking, and means that bank transfers will cease to be disadvantaged in comparison with credit card payment. The most secure payment method remains an EPO deposit account.