Renewal Procedure at the Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA) – the German Patent and Trade Mark Office
An informational summary of the patent renewal rules in place for German patents.
For patents whose applications were placed directly with the German patent office, or at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) with Germany as a designated country – i.e. a European patent application was not placed at any stage – renewals are due on both applications and granted patents.
From the second anniversary of the filing date, the patent annual renewal fees must be paid to the DPMA in order to maintain the application or the granted patent for each subsequent year. Annual fees must be paid in advance of the year to which they apply. So on the second anniversary of the filing date, the fees due are for Year 3 of the patent’s lifetime. Patents can be repeatedly renewed to remain in force until the 20th anniversary of the filing date.
For patents whose applications where placed through the European Patent Office (EPO), the renewal requirements in Germany are the same as other European states that interface with the EPO. Before the application is granted by the EPO, renewal fees are due to the EPO and must be paid in accordance with the rules of that office. Once the patent is granted by the EPO and responsibility for the patent transfers to the German patent office, renewal fees must be paid to the German office.
Renewal Dates & Payment Windows
Fees must be paid by the end of the month in which the anniversary of the filing date falls. For example, is the patent’s filing date is 2nd April, fees are due by 30th April each year. The earliest a fee can be paid is 12 months in advance.
If a German patent renewal payment is missed, it may still be possible to renew the patent and prevent it from lapsing. Up to two months after the original required payment date, fees can be paid with no additional charge.
After this, for another four months (i.e. a total of six months after the original payment due date), the renewal fee can still be paid, provided that an additional late fee of €50 is paid.
If this six month grace period is missed, the patent will lapse. Once the patent has lapsed, there is the potential to request its reinstatement through the process of restitutio in integrum, however this is for extreme cases only and should not be considered a regular fallback options. The circumstances surrounding the missed renewal payment must meet certain stringent requirements and the procedure can be very costly, requiring specialist patent attorney intervention.
License of Right
The German patent system allows for fee reductions on patents where the holder has registered the patent as openly available for licensing. If this License of Right status is applied, annual fees are reduced by 50%, as reflected in the renewal fee schedule below.
Renewal Fee Schedule
Fees are listed in Euros.
|For Patent Year||Standard Annual Fee||Annual Fee with Licence of Right|
Discount for Payment of Multiple Years
It is possible to make a payment of the first three annual fees up front at the time the first becomes due. If fees for years 3, 4, and 5 are paid all together in this way, the total is reduced to €200, a saving of €30.