Report of the Committee on EPO Finances

Jim BoffJ. Boff (GB), Chair

Activity of the Committee

Since the 90th Council Meeting, the Committee has been quiet, but with a rush of papers to consider for the Budget and Finance Committee meeting of 26th October 2021. Most of these papers were for background interest only and included the draft budget for 2022 [CA/50/21] and statistics for 2020 [CA/F5/21].
However, of greater direct relevance to users, was the proposal for a biennial fee increase in 2022 [CA/61/21]. This proposes inflation based average increases of 3% in fees, with the exception of the international search and preliminary examination fees which will remain static. Over the years epi has consistently argued that regular fee review was preferable to sudden jumps, but has also consistently argued that inflation indexing was not an appropriate method of review.
Assuming approved by the Administrative Council in December, this fee increase will come into effect 1st April 2022.

General situation

Total EP applications (direct Europeans and Euro-PCT) appear to be around 3% up on the same period as last year. The number of grants is significantly lower than last year, but roughly in line with the EPO's budget.