Assembly of the PCT Union
The 46th session of the Assembly of the PCT Union (PCT Assembly) was held in Geneva during the period from 22 to 30 September 2014, as part of the meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO.
The Assembly appointed the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority under the PCT. The appointment will become effective from a future date to be notified by the Office when it is ready to begin operations. The Assembly also noted that the National Institute of Industrial Property of Chile (INAPI) would begin operations as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority on 22 October 2014.
The Assembly adopted amendments to the PCT Regulations, set out in the Annex to the report of the session (draft document PCT/A/46/6 Prov. – the final report is to be adopted by correspondence), which will enter into force on 1 July 2015. The amendments consisted of the following:
– PCT Rules 49ter.2 and 76.5: introduction of a requirement, for applicants making an express request for early national phase entry, to file any request for the restoration of the right of priority at the designated or elected Office within one month from the date of receipt of the request for early national phase entry (rather than one month from the expiration of the normal period for entering the national phase).
– PCT Rule 90.5: enablement of the International Bureau, in cases where it receives a notice of withdrawal together with a copy of the general power of attorney, to process the notice of withdrawal without requiring the agent to submit a separate original power of attorney.
– Schedule of Fees: removal of the fee reduction available for PCT-EASY filings and revision of the eligibility criteria for fee reductions for certain applicants from certain countries.
The change to the eligibility criteria for fee reductions will mean that natural persons who are nationals and residents of Singapore and the United Arab Emirates will no longer benefit from the fee reductions, whereas natural persons who are nationals and residents of the Bahamas, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Nauru, Palau, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia and Suriname will start to benefit1.
The Assembly approved new procedures for appointing International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities (document PCT/A/46/4). It was agreed to recommend that Offices seeking appointment obtain the assistance of an existing International Authority to help assess the extent to which they meet the necessary criteria. The Committee for Technical Cooperation should meet as a technical body to give expert advice on the application for appointment, at least three months in advance of the session of the PCT Assembly where the application is to be considered (and normally, in conjunction with the PCT Working Group meeting).
The Assembly also noted reports on the work being undertaken by the PCT Working Group and the PCT Meeting of International Authorities to find ways to improve the delivery of PCT services to stakeholders, and approved recommendations on further work. These matters were reported in PCT Newsletter Nos. 06 and 03/2014, respectively.
The documents from the PCT Assembly are available from the WIPO website at:
The draft report is under preparation and will be available shortly.
- It is recalled that applicants from non-PCT Contracting States must file the PCT application together with an applicant who is a national of and/or resides in a PCT Contracting State, and may only benefit from the fee reduction if that applicant is also entitled to a fee reduction.