World Intellectual Property Organization

Regulations under the PCT

Rule 40
Lack of Unity of Invention (International Search)

40.1       Invitation to Pay Additional Fees; Time Limit

The invitation to pay additional fees provided for in Article 17(3)(a) shall:

(i)  specify the reasons for which the international application is not considered as complying with the requirement of unity of invention;

(ii)  invite the applicant to pay the additional fees within one month from the date of the invitation, and indicate the amount of those fees to be paid; and

(iii)  invite the applicant to pay, where applicable, the protest fee referred to in Rule 40.2(e) within one month from the date of the invitation, and indicate the amount to be paid.

40.2       Additional Fees

(a)  The amount of the additional fees due for searching under Article 17(3)(a) shall be determined by the competent International Searching Authority.

(b)  The additional fees due for searching under Article 17(3)(a) shall be payable direct to the International Searching Authority.

(c)  Any applicant may pay the additional fees under protest, that is, accompanied by a reasoned statement to the effect that the international application complies with the requirement of unity of invention or that the amount of the required additional fees is excessive. Such protest shall be examined by a review body constituted in the framework of the International Searching Authority, which, to the extent that it finds the protest justified, shall order the total or partial reimbursement to the applicant of the additional fees. On the request of the applicant, the text of both the protest and the decision thereon shall be notified to the designated Offices together with the international search report. The applicant shall submit any translation thereof with the furnishing of the translation of the international application required under Article 22.

(d)  The membership of the review body referred to in paragraph (c) may include, but shall not be limited to, the person who made the decision which is the subject of the protest.

(e)  The examination of a protest referred to in paragraph (c) may be subjected by the International Searching Authority to the payment to it, for its own benefit, of a protest fee. Where the applicant has not, within the time limit under Rule 40.1(iii), paid any required protest fee, the protest shall be considered not to have been made and the International Searching Authority shall so declare. The protest fee shall be refunded to the applicant where the review body referred to in paragraph (c) finds that the protest was entirely justified.

Explore WIPO