Effective April 1, 2018, the payment window for the third year renewal fee is being extended. It will now be possible for Applicants to pay the third year renewal fee up to six months before it falls due. This change means that, in most cases, applicants will now have the opportunity to pay the third year renewal fee at the same time they bring a PCT application into the regional phase in the EPO.
This change applies to any application for which the third year renewal fee is paid on or after 1 April 2018. This change only applies to the third year renewal fee, subsequent renewal fees may still only be validly paid within a three month window before they fall due.
Source: Sanam Habib, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner. LLP