2017 PCT Assembly Understanding

The PCT Assembly adopted the following Understanding with effect from October 11, 2017:

“It is the understanding of the PCT Assembly that the fee reduction in item 5 of the Schedule of Fees is intended to apply only in the case where the applicants indicated in the request are the sole and true owners of the application and under no obligation to assign, grant, convey or license the rights in the invention to another party which is not eligible for the fee reduction.”

This Understanding applies in relation to the currently applicable wording of Item 5 of the Schedule of Fees. 

In addition, the PCT Assembly agreed to amend the PCT Schedule of Fees with effect from July 1, 2018 to further clarify the intent behind the fee reduction set out in Item 5.  From July 1, 2018, Item 5 of the Schedule of Fees will read [amendments emphasized]:  

The international filing fee under item 1 (where applicable, as reduced under item 4), the supplementary search handling fee under item 2 and the handling fee under item 3 are reduced by 90% if the international application is filed by:

(a) an applicant who is a natural person and who is a national of and resides in a State that is listed as being a State whose per capita gross domestic product is below US$ 25,000 (according to the most recent 10-year average per capita gross domestic product figures at constant 2005 US$ values published by the United Nations), and whose nationals and residents who are natural persons have filed less than 10 international applications per year (per million population) or less than 50 international applications per year (in absolute numbers) according to the most recent five-year average yearly filing figures published by the International Bureau; or

(b) an applicant, whether a natural person or not, who is a national of and resides in a State that is listed as being classified by the United Nations as a least developed country;

provided that, at the time of filing of the international application, there are no beneficial owners of the international application who would not satisfy the criteria in sub-item (a) or (b) and provided that, if there are several applicants, each must satisfy the criteria set out in either sub-item (a) or (b). The lists of States referred to in sub-items (a) and (b) shall be updated by the Director General at least every five years according to directives given by the Assembly. The criteria set out in sub-items (a) and (b) shall be reviewed by the Assembly at least every five years.

The above Understanding will continue to apply to this text once amended.