Patent Renewals / Patent Assignment / Patent Annuity Fees

Patent renewals and patent assignments

Patent renewals and patent assignments are just two of our patent services, yet, two important ones. As patent lawyers we can act as recorded patent representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO), the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) and before the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO). We also represent utility models in Germany and in Hungary.

We offer services relating to the monitoring and payment of maintenance fees for industrial property rights such as combined IP portfolios of patents, utility models, design patents and trademarks. Legal representatives and professional representatives (or associations of professional representatives) are enlisted by the EPO in separate databases. Our law firm is registered as legal representative at EPO and there is no such registration at the DPMA or at the HIPO for patent lawyers or patent law firms.

Our main patent and utility model services

Patent renewals at the European EPO, at the German DPMA, at the Hungarian HIPO

We thoroughly attend to every single detail involved in this process, from reminders concerning the upcoming patent renewal due dates to forwarding confirmations and official receipts and certificates.

Considering our longstanding expertise in IP portfolio management, we are able to offer very low rates for our biggest clients. As a result, this effectively reduces the overall costs of the patent renewals.

Utility model renewals in Germany and in Hungary

In Hungary and in Germany the utility model protection is a legal protection for the new technical solutions not reaching the level of a patentable invention. By virtue of utility model protection, the owner of the said protection has the exclusive right to exploit the utility model or to license another person to exploit it. The protection has a term of maximum 10 years, then the utility model becomes part of the public domain.

The IP right becomes effective upon registration and gives you the same rights as a patent: exclusive right to use, produce and market your invention. You may prohibit any person from doing the same. Utility models are unexamined IP rights. During the registration procedure, there is no examination as to novelty, inventive step and industrial application. For this reason, utility model protection can be obtained more easily, faster and at lower cost than patent protection.

There are maintenance fees to keep the Hungarian utility model alive, every year. For German utility models the renewals are as follows: the first renewal after three years; the second maintenance fee after six years and the third maintenance fee after eight years.

Patent assignments and utility model assignments

We can help you to record an assignment of your patent portfolio at the EPO or in Germany or in Hungary. You do not have to make public any confidential clauses of the patent assignment or of the utility model assignment. The signatures of the parties to the contract must appear on the documents submitted as evidence. A declaration signed by the parties to the contract verifying the transfer is also sufficient.

Whether the transfer is during application phase or after registration, is not a limit to selling or licensing your patent rights. A European patent application or patent may be assigned as a whole or in part for one or more of the designated contracting states. 

Change of name, change of patent owner, EPO representative

Pursuant to the European Patent Guide, on request, a change of the applicant’s name will be entered in the European Patent Register as long as the European patent application or the proceedings before the EPO are pending and so long as it does not involve any change to the applicant’s legal identity. Relevant documentary evidence enabling the EPO to verify the change must be produced. Registration of a change of name is free of charge.

It is strongly advised to keep your data up to date in the patent registries. Any change in the name and/or address of the patent holder or his representative should be quickly be reported to the patent offices to avoid formal problems with later assignments, licensing, patent infringements.

Patent litigation lawyer in Hungary

Hungarian patent litigation lawyers are specialists in intellectual property, trademarks, design rights, copyright laws and patents. We represent creators or companies in the patent enforcement process, assist with patent licensing and infringement cases and act as litigators to protect our client’s rights to an invention. Provide legal advice on valuable intellectual property rights such as patents, technical data, trade secrets, licenses, copyrights and trademarks. We interpret laws, rulings and regulations for the intellectual property of clients; we conduct legal research, gather and arrange evidence. Hungarian patent litigation lawyers can explain, clarify complex technical information. We offer legal representation to clients in court proceedings on intellectual property matters and provide protection of the client’s intellectual property by enforcing statutory, regulatory and contractual obligations.

Member States of the European Patent Organisation

EPO patent renewals renewal fee
Geographic scope of the European patent protection – The map is the courtesy of https://www.epo.org/about-us/at-a-glance.html
Copyright 2020 EPO

Patent Law- Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What is a patent?

A patent is a monopoly to use a technical solution. A patent is an exclusive right registered at a patent office, for an invention, which is a product or a process that offers a new technical solution to a problem. To obtain a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.

When are patent renewals due at the EPO?

Renewal / maintenance fees for a European patent application in respect of the coming year are due on the last day of the month containing the anniversary of the date of filing of the European patent application. The renewal fee in respect of the third year may be paid up to six months before it falls due. All other renewal fees may not be validly paid more than three months before they fall due. Renewal fee payments made before the permissible prepayment periods are not valid.