European patent – Bank transfer functionality

As of 14 December 2020 the EPO has added a new functionality to the payment service aimed for facilitating payments by bank transfer.


These improvements are an important step towards the goal of providing users with a central service for making and facilitating fee payments, covering all payment methods permitted by the EPO, claiming refunds and managing deposit accounts. The EPO will inform users sufficiently in advance before the final implementation of this central payment service.

Procedure for preparing payments by bank transfer


In order to use the bank transfer functionality, the user needs to register itself at the European Patent Office (EPO) website: entering under the title : Applying for patents , than under the title : Fee payments and refunds, under the option: Bank transfer, How to prepare bank transfers and than by clicking the option: using bank transfer functionality, where the user needs to sign in to prepare the bank transfer.


In the past, users were required to make a separate bank transfer for each application, indicating the fee code(s) to be paid in the payment reference. With the functionality the user can pay for multiple applications with a single bank transfer if they first submit an order for the payment of selected fees and then follow the procedure described below. By linking the bundle of fees selected in the order with a unique payment reference, the payment received by the EPO can be automatically assigned to the applications, patents and fees selected by the user.


When users select Bank transfer as the payment method at the check-out stage and confirm the order, an order number is generated and displayed together with an order summary. The user then receives a (printable) order confirmation with a payment reference consisting of the order number, a check digit and a prefix. This payment reference allows the EPO to assign a payment to the respective fees selected for one or more applications or patents at the Select group and fees stage. It is therefore essential that the payment reference as shown in the order confirmation is correctly indicated in the bank transfer. The order confirmation shows the order date, the total amount of the selected fees, the name of the user making the order, the number(s) of the patent application(s) and/or patent(s) concerned, a list of all the individual fees selected for payment and an order status. The order status is Submitted until the payment reaches the EPO's bank account.. Once the payment is received, the order status is automatically updated to Paid and the user can download a payment confirmation via the order history function. As soon as the payment confirmation is available, users can be certain that the EPO has received the payment. The payment confirmation can be used as a proof of payment in dealings with third parties, e.g. tax authorities.


A payment reference can only be used once and is valid for two months following the order confirmation. If no payment can be assigned to an order within this period, the order will be cancelled automatically. Orders cannot be cancelled by the user. The status of the order will be updated to Cancelled in the order history. Payments received for cancelled orders or orders with no or incorrect payment references cannot be assigned automatically to a specific order and will be handled manually by the EPO. Delays in the processing of the payment as a result of the manual handling may cause a delay in the patent grant procedure. Users are therefore strongly advised to make their bank transfers as soon as possible after having confirmed the order.

If the payment that reaches the EPO's bank account does not correspond to the total amount of fees selected in the order, it will be booked to the fees in ascending order of application numbers (PCT before EP) and in ascending order of fee codes, for as long as the payment received allows. The payment confirmation will indicate which fees have been paid and which fees have not been paid or have only been paid in part as a result of the underpayment. To ensure the proper reconciliation of bank payments, users must submit a new order to redress any unintended underpayment situation identified in the payment confirmation. The same applies if the number of fees intended for payment changes after finalisation of the order procedure. In this case, users must submit a new order for any additional fees not included in the first order.


Prepared by European Patent Registration and Consulting Services prov. by Lawyers Antevski member of network of ARI INTERNATIONAL Law &Trade from Liechtenstein