(There is a followup posting.)
On January 26 I blogged here about the earthquake that happened on January 15, in which the Swiss Franc jumped some 30% in value. I talked about how this earthquake affected the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. I mentioned that the legacy approach to currency exchange rate shifts entailed a time lag of as much as three or four months, a time lag that would cost WIPO some millions of dollars. I mentioned that the various patent offices around the world, in their role as PCT Receiving Offices, might or might not choose to accommodate WIPO by implementing new fee amounts sooner. I wrote to USPTO and to EPO to urge them to accommodate WIPO in this way. Here’s what I heard back from those patent offices …
After I wrote to the USPTO to urge it to accommodate WIPO in this way, I heard informally from a nice person at the USPTO. This nice person said that yes, the RO/US plans to implement the new fee amounts shortly after the new amounts get established on Monday, February 9.
After I wrote to the EPO to urge it to accommodate WIPO in this way, I heard informally from a nice person at the EPO. This nice person said that yes, the RO/EP plans to implement the new fee amounts sooner than the end of the usual delay period, perhaps as early as April 1.
There will clearly be some forum-shopping opportunities for applicants in all of this. A filer located in, say, Poland has a choice of filing in RO/PL or RO/EP or RO/IB. Such a filer might find that RO/PL and RO/EP and RO/IB have established non-identical dates for implementation of the new international filing fee. This might lead to a window of some days or weeks during which the cost to file a PCT application might be notably different depending upon the choice of Receiving Office. The difference might be two hundred dollars or more.