Renewal Procedure at France’s Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle
An informational summary of the patent renewal rules in place for French patents.
Renewals fees are due annually, starting on the first anniversary of the patent’s filing date. On this date, the fee for patent year 2 becomes due. The fee for the first year of the patent’s life is included in the fees charged at application.
For patents filed through the European Patent Office (EPO), renewal fees are only due to the French patent office after the grant of the patent by the EPO. During application, the applicant must pay the usual EPO application renewal fees to the European office. Then French fees begin post-grant from the year after the last year paid to the EPO.
For non-EPO applications, the applicant must pay fees to the French patent office both before and after grant.
Renewal Dates & Payment Windows
The fee becomes due at the end of the month in which the filing date anniversary falls. The payment window ends on the last day of that month. Fees can be paid up to 12 months in advance of the end of the payment window.
It is possible to make a late payment of the renewal fees without losing intellectual property rights. The fee can be paid up to 6 months after the end of the payment window as long as it is accompanied by the appropriate late fee. The penalty late fee is an additional 50% of the due renewal fee. After the 6 month period, the patent lapses.
Small Entity Status
Maintenance fees are reduced for the first 7 years of a patent’s life if the applicant conforms to the below criteria and submits an appropriate form or statement declaring small entity status. Your patent attorney will be able to assist with this.
To qualify for small entity status, the applicant must belong to one of the following categories:
- Individuals (also referred to as ‘natural persons’)
- SMEs that have less than 1,000 employees, and whose capital is not owned more than 25% by an entity not meeting these same conditions
- Non-Profit Organisations in the fields of education or research
Successful application of this status leads to a 50% reduction in fees for years 2 to 5 after the filing date, and a 25% reduction in the fees due for years 6 and 7.
License of Right
Until 2005, France ran a License of Right scheme, whereby patent holders could benefit from fee reductions by registering the patent as openly available for anyone to purchase a license to use its content. As this scheme was not utilised, it was ceased.
Renewal Fee Schedule
Fees are listed in Euros.
|For Patent Year||Large Entity Renewal Fee|