Administrative Council amends Implementing Regulations to the EPC with effect from April 1, 2014. Fee reductions for using an official language of a Contracting State other than English, French or German will be restricted. There will be a new fee incentive for withdrawing an appeal.
1. Decision CA/D 19/13 of December 13, 2013 amends Rule 6 EPC and Article 14(1) of the Rules relating to Fees. In future, the fee reduction for using an official language of a Contracting State other than English, French or German will only be available for the fees for filing and examination. In particular, it will be no longer available for the fees for opposition and appeal. In addition, a reduction will only be available to SMEs, natural persons and non-profit organizations. Thus, as an example, international applicants having a place of business in Switzerland will no longer be able to profit from filing the request for examination in Italian. The percentage of the fee reduction will be increased from 20% to 30%.
2. Decision CA/D 16/13 of December 13, 2013 amends Rule 103 EPC. In addition to the possibility of having the appeal fee reimbursed in full if the appeal is withdrawn before the end of the time limit for filing the statement of grounds of appeal, new paragraph 2 introduces the possibility of a partial refund of the appeal fee. The appeal fee shall be reimbursed at 50% if the appeal is withdrawn at least 4 weeks before the date for which oral proceedings have been appointed or within the time limit set in a communication from the Board for filing observations. The amendment aims at reducing the backlog of the Boards of Appeal and is based on the experience that in some cases appeal proceedings are continued although the appellant has lost its interest in the case or the case has turned to appear hopeless.
Reported by Rudolf Teschemacher