Upcoming new regulations in german patent law

With the new Second German Patent Law Modernization Act and a Further German Act on Duties of the GPTO and to Revise the Patent Costs Act which have been promulgated in August and September 2021, respectively, and which have effectively entered into force, several important changes of regulations will take place, of which we should like to summarize the most important ones:

I. Oral Proceedings as videoconferences (effective: May 1, 2022)

Based on the Second German Patent Law Modernization Act and in congruence with Section 128a of the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO), the possibility to participate in Oral Hearings as well as the option to give evidence by means of image and sound transmission in front of the GPTO will be available for proceedings under the German Patent Act (PatG), the German Utility Model Act (GebrMG), the German Trade Mark Act (MarkenG), the German Design Act (DesignG) and the German Semiconductor Protection Act (HalblSchG) in suitable cases to be decided by the GPTO. However, also the option for parties to attend Oral Hearings or to give evidence in person still remains possible.

II. Uniform Rules on public holidays (effective: May 1, 2022)

So far, local public holidays in different federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany only lead to an extension of a time limit to perform a certain time-limited act, if said act was performed at the respective location of the GPTO (Munich, Berlin or Jena), where the local public holiday was indeed effective. To mitigate this potential legal uncertainty, all public holidays applicable to at least one of the locations of the GPTO will be recognised from May 1, 2022, for the purpose of extending time limits, irrespective at which location of the GPTO the time-limited act actually is performed.

III. Extension of the period for PCT applications to enter the German national phase (effective: May 1, 2022)

So far, the time limit to fulfil the necessary requirements for PCT applications to enter the German national phase has expired 30 months from the filing date or the priority date of the international application. Becoming effective May 1, 2022, the time limit to fulfil the necessary requirements, i.e. the payment of the entry fee and, if necessary, the filing of a German translation of the application with the GPTO, will be extended to 31 months from the filing date or the priority date of the international application and be in line with the regulations on entering the European regional phase also being 31 months from the filing date or the priority date of the international application.

IV. Increase of annuity fees for German patents (effective: July 1, 2022)

Based on the Further German Act on Duties of the GPTO and to Revise the Patent Costs Act, the official annual fees for German patents for the 5th and each subsequent year will be increased by July 1, 2022.  The following table gives an overview about the official annuity fees for German patents before and after July 1, 2022:

Patent YearFee before July 1, 2022Fee from July 1, 2022
5EUR 90,00EUR 100,00
6EUR 130,00EUR 150,00
7EUR 180,00EUR 210,00
8EUR 240,00EUR 280,00
9EUR 190,00EUR 350,00
10EUR 350,00EUR 430,00
11EUR 470,00EUR 540,00
12EUR 620,00EUR 680,00
13EUR 760,00EUR 830,00
14EUR 910,00EUR 980,00
15EUR 1.060,00EUR 1.130,00
16EUR 1.230,00EUR 1.310,00
17EUR 1.410,00EUR 1.490,00
18EUR 1.590,00EUR 1.670,00
19EUR 1.760,00EUR 1.840,00
20EUR 1.930,00EUR 2.030,00

Please rest assured that we will keep you further duly informed about any new developments.

However, if you have any questions or wish to obtain advice regarding the upcoming new regulations in German patent law, please do not hesitate to contact your usual attorney of the highly experienced team of Dr. Schön, Neymeyr & Partner mbB or email us via
mail@schoen-partner.de.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Christoph Schön

Ulrich Neymeyr

Dr. Susanne Schön

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