Patent annuity is the fee that is paid to a patent office to maintain a granted patent or patent application in force. It is also known as patent renewal fee or patent maintenance fee. Patent annuity payment differ from one country to another in the sense that some countries such as Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, United States and etc require the payment of renewal fees only after the patent is granted or issued whereas other jurisdictions such as European Union require the payment of renewal fees for pending patent applications. It is important to make annuity payments as they are a necessary part of maintaining an intellectual property portfolio without lapse. If patent annuity fee is missed out, payment of patent renewal fee may still be validly made up to six months (commonly referred to as the surcharge or grace period) in a few countries such as Malaysia from the ultimate deadline, provided that a belated or late fee equal to 100% of the renewal fee in the concerned year is paid within the same period. If payment of the belated renewal fee is made within the grace period, then the patent will remain in force.
Why do you need to renew your patent?
It is important to make annuity payments as they are a necessary part of maintaining an intellectual property portfolio without lapse. A patent gives you monopoly rights on your invention. In order to retain these legal rights, you must renew or maintain your patents to keep them ‘alive’ and active so that these rights in the invention can be enforced.
When to renew your patent?
Annuity fees are due at different intervals depending on individual jurisdictions. Some patent laws require the payment of maintenance fees for pending patent applications whereas other patents laws require payment of renewal fees after the patent is granted. A large part of that maintenance includes payment of renewal fees, also called ‘annuities’ or ‘taxes’ in some parts of the world, and even ‘continuation’ fees under certain circumstances. The timing of their commencement, deadlines for payment and amount differ greatly among countries, so it’s important for you to understand renewal requirements for budgeting purposes and to avoid causing a patent or application to lapse. For instance, countries like Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and United States and etc, no annuity or maintenance fees need to be paid while applications are pending, whereas European Patent Office requires payment of maintenance fees while the European patent applications are pending, usually from the third year of filing date.
What will happen if you miss out your patent renewal?
Payment of a renewal fee may still be validly made up to six months (commonly referred to as the surcharge period) in a few countries from the ultimate deadline, provided that an additional fee equal to prescribed percentage of the belated renewal fee is paid within the same period. For example, in Malaysia, late payment is possible within a 6 months grace period by paying a corresponding surcharge of 100% renewal fee of the renewal year. If payment of the belated renewal fee and the additional fee is made within the surcharge period, then the application will remain in force. Failure to pay a renewal fee by the end of the surcharge period will result in the application/patent lapsing. In certain circumstances, it is possible to restore the right in a few countries. These conditions may include payment of the outstanding renewal fees and making a request for restoration to the patent office with reasons and evidence explaining the non-payment of renewal fees.
How to renew your patent?
In order to renew your patents, you will need to pay the correct fees to the Patent Office. IPON9 is a cost-effective and intuitive patent renewal platform. We offer cost-attractive annuity payment with simplified workflow and transparent fee structure.