mitigating this unscrupulous practice
- WIPO invites its customers to use and adapt this standard text to notify applicants and inventors about such fee requests. [WORD]
- Circular letter addressed by WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry to all PCT Contracting States and Regional Organizations. [PDF]
PCT applicants and agents have informed the International Bureau that some of these requests to pay fees are being sent in envelopes which appear to bear the WIPO/OMPI logo and the address of the organization. Please carefully review all such requests. The services which are being offered in these invitations do not come from WIPO.
The invitations typically refer to a payment, which is to be made in euro or US dollars, by cheque and/or money transfer to addresses in:
CZ: Czech Republic
- CN(HK): Hong Kong
US: United States of America
WARNING: Requests for Payment of Fees
It has come to the attention of the International Bureau that PCT applicants and agents are receiving invitations 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. Whatever registration services might be offered in such invitations, they bear no connection to WIPO or to any of its official publications.
The invitations often identify a particular PCT application by its international publication number (eg: WO 02 xxxxxx), publication date, title of the invention, international application number, priority information and IPC symbols; examples of such invitations can be viewed below.
PCT applicants and agents should note that it is the International Bureau 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.
In case of doubt in relation to such an invitation, please contact the International Bureau by telephone +41 22 338 83 38 or facsimile +41 22 338 83 39.
The sending of these notices appears to not be restricted to the patent context; within WIPO, the administration of the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks has placed a general warning on its website in relation to such invitations to pay fees.