How long does a patent last?
The duration of a patent varies according to the kind of object: particularly a patent for a utility model lasts 10 years, whilst a patent for an industrial invention lasts 20 years. The annual fees are paid in advance as soon as the patent application is filed, 3 years for an invention and 5 years if it is a utility model.
Therefore, for either 3 or 5 years according to the type of patent, no more fees are payable. When this term expires, an annual fee will have to be paid, for an invention from the fourth year, which will increase every year up to a maximum of € 741.00 from the fifteenth year to the twentieth year.
In the case of a utility model the fees will have to be paid in one instalment for the second period of five years, when it expires after the first period of five years. You must keep in mind that, usually, the fees are not due until the granting of the patent, therefore they could be left pending until a reply by the Minster is received, and after that there is still a grace period of four months to pay the arrears.