The money-saving strategy I described does not actually work

Readers of this blog will recall my article of a few days ago, describing what I suggested would be a strategy for saving a little money on PCT search fees.  I’m posting this note to draw your attention to a correction to that article which I posted today.  I offer my thanks to a nice person at WIPO who gently pointed out to me a couple of PCT rules which make clear that the strategy that I described a few days ago doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) work.

There’s still a bit of an opportunity to save money on PCT search fees, although not the opportunity that I described in that article of a few days ago.

In that article of a few days ago, I described that a filer might file a PCT application on February 28, 2017, while not paying the Search Fee.  I described that the filer might then on March 1, 2017 pay the Search Fee.  For a Search Fee the amount of which dropped on March 1, I figured this would be a chance to save some money.  Not so.  As I describe in the correction to the previous posting, the amount of Search Fee due is determined not by the date that the Search Fee is paid, but by the PCT filing date.

But for a filer that has the flexibility to file a PCT application on the filer’s choice of February 28, 2017 or March 1, 2017, the reduction in Search Fee could be taken advantage of simply by postponing the PCT filing until March 1.  (For example perhaps an identical priority document had been filed on or after March 1, 2016.)

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