June 26, 2008

As noted within the June 18, 2008 Federal Register, the USPTO is proposing a PCT fee increase “to recover the estimated average cost to the Office of processing PCT international applications and preparing international search reports and written opinions for PCT international applications.” The proposal (included within the Federal Register link below) includes a revision to 37 CFR 1.445(a)(1) to include a $115 increase in the PCT transmittal fee (from $300 to $415), a revision to 37 CFR 1.445(a)(2) to increase the U.S. search fee by $425 (from $1,800 to $2,225), and a corresponding supplemental search fee under 37 CFR 1.445(a)(3) of the same amount ($425). The proposal notes that the previous increase in the PCT search fee took effect 7-8 months ago, increasing 80% from $1,000 to $1,800 in November, 2007. In the interest of full disclosure, the Federal Register also notes that “an applicant filing an international application under the PCT in the United States Receiving Office (the United States Patent and Trademark Office) is not required to use the United States Patent and Trademark Office as the International Searching Authority,” as “[t]he European Patent Office (except for applications containing business method claims) or the Korean Intellectual Property Office may be selected as the International Searching Authority for international applications filed in the United States Receiving Office. The current fee for a European search is $2,496, while the fee for a Korean search is only $244, less than 10% of the cost of Europe and just over 10% the cost of a U.S. search if the proposed increase takes effect.

So to start some discussion on this issue, if you have used an ISA other than the U.S. for PCT applications, please share your experiences by commenting on this particular blog post. I do monitor comments to cut out spam comments (which are very common), but I will approve your on-topic comment once it is received.

Federal Register Excerpt (PDF): LINK
USPTO Current Fee Listing: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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