Entitlement to reductions in PCT fees for applicants from certain countries

international filing feeRevisions to the eligibility criteria for certain fee reductions were made during the 46th session of the Assembly of the PCT Union (PCT Assembly) which was held in September 2014. Slovenia was added, together with the PCT Contracting States of Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Saudi Arabia, and the non-PCT Contracting States of the Bahamas, Nauru, Palau and Suriname, to the list of States, the nationals and residents of which may benefit from a 90% reduction in the international filing fee, the supplementary search handling fee, and the handling fee, as prescribed under item 5(a) of the PCT Schedule of Fees. The date of entry into force of the amendments to the Schedule of Fees is 1 July 2015.

Although the date of entry into force of the amended Schedule of Fees, including the revised list of States eligible for the above fee reductions, is 1 July 2015, in the case of the reduction in the international filing fee, the revised Schedule of Fees will apply only in respect of international applications received by the receiving Office on or after 1 July 2015. (According to PCT Rule 15.3, the amount of the international filing fee that is payable shall be the amount applicable on the date of receipt of the international application by the receiving Office.) Therefore, regardless of when you pay the fees, the Schedule of Fees as in force until 30 June 2015 will apply in respect of your application, which means that you will not be entitled to the 90% reduction in the international filing fee. Even if an international application is received by the receiving Office before 1 July 2015 but is given a later international filing date which falls on or after 1 July 2015 (for example, in the case where missing drawings are furnished later), the current (pre-July 2015) Schedule of Fees will apply for payment of that fee.

However, if you request a supplementary international search or file a demand for international preliminary examination you would, irrespective of when that request or demand is submitted, be able to pay the reduced amount of the fees payable for the benefit of the International Bureau (IB), that is, the supplementary search handling fee and the handling fee, respectively, if the fee concerned is paid on or after 1 July 2015. (According to PCT Rules 45bis.2(c) and 57.3(d), the amounts payable for those fees are the amounts which are applicable on the date of payment of the fees).

To benefit from a reduction in the international filing fee for electronic filings, you may wish to consider filing your international application in electronic form (for example, using the ePCT-Filing system) with the IB or the European Patent Office as receiving Office, subject to any filing restrictions which may apply under your country’s national legislation.

More information at WIPO

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