Warning About Requests for Payment of Fees; Clarification About Reminders for Payment of National Fees
Further to the many warnings that have been published in the PCT Newsletter about invitations to PCT applicants and agents to pay fees that do not come from the International Bureau of WIPO and are unrelated to the processing of international applications under the PCT, a new invitation has been identified originating from “IPTO - International Patent & Trademark Organization”.
To view an example of the invitation, as well as the many other examples which have been brought to the attention of WIPO by PCT users, and for further information on such requests in general, see:
PCT applicants and agents should note that it is the International Bureau (IB) of WIPO alone which publishes all PCT applications promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date (see PCT Article 21(2)(a)); there is no separate fee for such international publication, and the legal effects of international publication are set out in PCT Article 29.
If they have not already done so, PCT applicants and agents are advised to bring this information to the attention of the people responsible for handling payments of fees within their organizations, as well as to the attention of inventors who might also receive such requests. In case of doubt in relation to any such invitation, please do not hesitate to contact the IB at:
Telephone: (+41-22) 338 83 38
Fax: (+41-22) 338 83 39
Clarification about reminders for payment of national fees
It has come to our attention that some applicants (or agents) are confusing bona fide reminders for the payment of patent renewal fees to national Offices in the national phase with fraudulent requests for fees. Some of these reminders may be routinely sent out to applicants by Offices even if they have not yet entered the national phase in the respective country, most likely as a precautionary measure, so that the applicant does not miss any important deadlines or incur additional late payment fees.
In case of doubt as to the veracity of such requests for payment of fees, please contact the national (or regional) Office concerned directly, preferably using the contact details of the Office as indicated in Annex B of the PCT Applicant’s Guide at:
You may also find it useful to refer to a number of warnings about requests for payment of national fees that have been posted online by various Offices, the links to which can be accessed from the above-mentioned warning page on the PCT website.
If you are still in doubt in relation to any such requests, please do not hesitate to contact the IB, the contact details of which are indicated above.