The renewal fees for a pending Euro-PCT application must be paid to the EPO. These fees are due in respect of the third and each subsequent year, calculated from the date of filing of the Euro-PCT application as accorded by the receiving Office. They may not be paid more than three months before they fall due.[ 38 ]
The renewal fee for the third year falls due according to Rule 51(1) EPC. If, however, according to Rule 51(1) EPC the renewal fee for the third year fell due within the 31-month time limit for entry into the European phase, the due date is deferred and the fee may be paid without surcharge up to expiry of the 31-month time limit. In that case the grace period of six months within which the renewal fee can still be validly paid, subject to payment of a 50% additional fee, is computed from the date of expiry of the 31-month time limit.
Please note that as from 1 April 2018 the renewal fee in respect of the third year may not be validly paid more than six months before it falls due. All other renewal fees may still not be paid more than three months before they fall due.
Date retrieved: 30 December 2018
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EPC Implementing Rules
XR.159 EPC The European Patent Office as a designated or elected Office – Requirements for entry into the European phase