What's hot at the EQE online forum


Read the question ...

Question 8 of D1 2009 was one of few questions where I lost about half of the marks available. I recently read the answer I handed in and compared it to the model answer taking into account the remarks made in the Examiner's report.

The question was as follows:

QUESTION 8 (5 points)
A European patent application AP1 was duly filed on 23 February 2008 claiming priority from earlier application PR1 filed on 24 March 2007. Application AP1, as originally filed, contained 30 claims. At the search stage a non-unity objection was raised. The applicant paid one further search fee. The subject-matter of all claims was searched. Application AP1 is still pending. Today, 3 March 2009, the applicant files a divisional application using form 1001. The divisional application contains a set of claims 1 to 20, which  correspond to claims 11 to 30 originally filed in AP1. Claims 1 to 20 of the divisional application relate to the second invention already searched in AP1.

What fees are due on filing and until when can these fees be paid? What is the legal basis for the amounts of these fees?

Not a particularly difficult question it seemed.

However what I wrote down did not answer the question. More in particular (probably like many fellow candidates) I explained which fees needed to be paid. Because of that, I did not mention designation fees and examination fees. 

However, the question was which fees were due which is different (yet may overlap) from the question which fees had to be paid.

As you all know (!?) the term "due date" has a special menaing in the EPC, namely the first day on which payment of a fee may be validly effected, not the last day of a period for such payment, see Guidelines
A-XI 5.1.1

Since the applicant used form 1001, payment of the examination and designation fees was due on filing. (Although they could be paid until 6m after the date on which the EP bulletin mentions the publication of
the search report, see Rule 70(1) and Rule 39(1).)

So, always be alert on the wording of the question and keep in mind that (most of the time) all information in a question is there for a reason !

Print this post

1 comment:

  1. I wonder what are the legal consequences of this subtle difference :

    I see only one : the EPO won't refund the fee if it is already due, and will refund it if it is not yet due.

    Is there any other consequence ?


Related Posts with Thumbnails