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1867    Preliminary Examination Fees [R-08.2012]

37 C.F.R. 1.481  Payment of international preliminary examination fees.

  • (a) The handling and preliminary examination fees shall be paid within the time period set in PCT Rule 57.3 . The handling fee or preliminary examination fee payable is the handling fee or preliminary examination fee in effect on the date of payment.
    • (1) If the handling and preliminary fees are not paid within the time period set in PCT Rule 57.3 , applicant will be notified and given one month within which to pay the deficient fees plus a late payment fee equal to the greater of:
      • (i) Fifty percent of the amount of the deficient fees, but not exceeding an amount equal to double the handling fee; or
      • (ii) An amount equal to the handling fee ( PCT Rule 58bis .2).
    • (2) The one-month time limit set in this paragraph to pay deficient fees may not be extended.
  • (b) If the payment needed to cover the handling and preliminary examination fees, pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, is not timely made in accordance with PCT Rule 58bis .1(d), the United States International Preliminary Examination Authority will declare the Demand to be considered as if it had not been submitted.

The preliminary examination fee is for the benefit of the International Preliminary Examining Authority and the amount for the USPTO doing the preliminary examination is specified in 37 CFR 1.482 . The fee is somewhat higher if the international search was performed by an authority other than the USPTO.

The handling fee is a fee for the benefit of the International Bureau and is collected by the International Preliminary Examining Authority. The amount of the handling fee is set out in the PCT schedule of fees which is annexed to the PCT Regulations.

The current amount of both the preliminary examination fee and the handling fee can be found in each weekly issue of the Official Gazette . Since supplements to the handling fee were deleted, no additional Chapter II fees are required other than any additional preliminary examination fee where additional inventions are determined to be present. The amount of this fee is also specified in 37 CFR 1.482 and in the weekly issues of the Official Gazette . See also PCT Rules 57 and 58 .

The time limit for paying the preliminary examination fee and the handling fee is set forth in PCT Rules 57.3 and 58.1(b) . Effective January 1, 2004, for demands filed on or after January 1, 2004, 37 CFR 1.481 (a) provides that the preliminary examination fee or handling fee payable is the preliminary examination fee or handling fee in effect on the date of payment. For demands filed before January 1, 2004, former 37 CFR 1.481(a) provides that the preliminary examination fee or handling fee payable is the preliminary examination fee or handling fee in effect on the date of receipt of the Demand in the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority. Effective July 1, 1998, PCT Rule 58 bis .1(c) was added to consider the preliminary examination fee and handling fee to have been received before the expiration of the time limit set in PCT Rule 57.3 if the fees were submitted prior to the sending of an invitation to pay the fees.

Effective July 1, 1998, PCT Rule 58 bis .1(a) was added to permit the International Preliminary Examining Authority to collect a late payment fee set forth in PCT Rule 58 bis .2 if the fees for preliminary examination are not paid prior to the sending of the invitation to pay the fees. If the preliminary examination fee and handling fee are not paid within the time set in PCT Rule 57.3 , applicants will be notified and given 1 month within which to pay the deficient fees plus a late payment fee equal to the greater of: (1) 50% of the amount of the deficient fees, but not exceeding an amount equal to double the handling fee; or (2) an amount equal to the handling fee. See 37 CFR 1.481(a) (1)(i) and (ii). The 1 month time limit set forth in 37 CFR 1.481(a) (1) to pay deficient fees may not be extended. See 37 CFR 1.481(a) (2).

If the payment needed to cover the preliminary examination fee and handling fee is not timely made in accordance with PCT Rule 58 bis .1(d) , the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority will declare the Demand to be considered as if it had not been submitted. In this regard, where the Authority sends a notification that the Demand is considered not to have been made and applicant’s payment is received on the same date the notification is sent, the fee is considered to be late and the notification remains effective. The fee must antedate the notice in order for the notice not to be effective. See 37 CFR 1.481(b) .

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:33