World Intellectual Property Organization

Regulations under the PCT

Rule 57
The Handling Fee

57.1       Requirement to Pay

Each demand for international preliminary examination shall be subject to the payment of a fee for the benefit of the International Bureau ("handling fee") to be collected by the International Preliminary Examining Authority to which the demand is submitted.

57.2       Amount

(a)  The amount of the handling fee is as set out in the Schedule of Fees.

(b)  The handling fee shall be payable in the currency or one of the currencies prescribed by the International Preliminary Examining Authority ("prescribed currency").

(c)  Where the prescribed currency is the Swiss franc, the Authority shall promptly transfer the said fee to the International Bureau in Swiss francs.

(d)  Where the prescribed currency is a currency other than the Swiss franc and that currency:

(i)  is freely convertible into Swiss francs, the Director General shall establish, for each Authority which prescribes such a currency for the payment of the handling fee, an equivalent amount of that fee in the prescribed currency according to directives given by the Assembly, and the amount in that currency shall promptly be transferred by the Authority to the International Bureau;

(ii)  is not freely convertible into Swiss francs, the Authority shall be responsible for the conversion of the handling fee from the prescribed currency into Swiss francs and shall promptly transfer that fee in Swiss francs, in the amount set out in the Schedule of Fees, to the International Bureau. Alternatively, if the Authority so wishes, it may convert the handling fee from the prescribed currency into euros or US dollars and promptly transfer the equivalent amount of that fee in euros or US dollars, as established by the Director General according to directives given by the Assembly as referred to in item (i), to the International Bureau.

57.3       Time Limit for Payment; Amount Payable

(a)  Subject to paragraphs (b) and (c), the handling fee shall be paid within one month from the date on which the demand was submitted or 22 months from the priority date, whichever expires later.

(b)  Subject to paragraph (c), where the demand was transmitted to the International Preliminary Examining Authority under Rule 59.3, the handling fee shall be paid within one month from the date of receipt by that Authority or 22 months from the priority date, whichever expires later.

(c)  Where, in accordance with Rule 69.1(b), the International Preliminary Examining Authority wishes to start the international preliminary examination at the same time as the international search, that Authority shall invite the applicant to pay the handling fee within one month from the date of the invitation.

(d)   The amount of the handling fee payable shall be the amount applicable on the date of payment.

57.4       Refund

The International Preliminary Examining Authority shall refund the handling fee to the applicant:

(i)  if the demand is withdrawn before the demand has been sent by that Authority to the International Bureau, or

(ii)  if the demand is considered, under Rule 54.4 or 54bis.1(b), not to have been submitted.

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