Reduction in search fee to benefit small and medium-sized businesses
EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Arūnas Želvys, Director of the State Patent Bureau of the Republic of Lithuania, have concluded an agreement on a reduction of the search fee for certain applicants from Lithuania.
The reduction applies to searches carried out by the EPO on national filings by small and medium-sized enterprises, universities and independent inventors.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Mr Battistelli said: "Today's agreement will further facilitate patent protection in Lithuania. Small businesses and academia stand to benefit greatly from the reduced rates."
Mr Želvys added: "This supports our strategy to enhance patenting activities in Lithuania and provide a competitive edge for innovative companies, who in turn create economic growth and jobs."
The agreement followed a decision of the EPO's Administrative Council in December 2015, which provided the legal basis for increasing the refund to 75% of the search fee with member states eligible for support under the co-operation policy.
Similar agreements have been concluded with Cyprus and other member states which fulfil the applicable criteria have also shown interest in concluding such administrative agreements.