Some PCT search fees to drop on March 1, 2017

What goes up must come down, it seems.  

USD search fee as of December 31, 2016 As of January 1, 2017 % increase March 1, 2017 % decrease
ISA/EP $2097 $2103 0.3% $1992 5.3%
ISA/KR $1120 $1177 5.1% $1114 5.4%
ISA/JP $1530 $1536 0.4% $1372 10.7%

Two weeks ago, the fee to be paid by US filers for a PCT search in the EPO, in the Korean patent office, or in the Japanese patent office, increased.  Now it is set that on March 1, 2017 these fees will decrease again.

This is all due to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates.

How might this affect decisionmaking by PCT filers?  A high-volume US filer that frequently selects ISA/EP, KR, or JP might try to postpone some Febuary filings until March.

For the first time ever in the thirty-eight-year history of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, ISA/EP is actually cheaper (for US large-entity filers) than ISA/US.

Notwithstanding these March 1 fee changes, some general factors remain unchanged.  For example the applicant that considers it likely that its PCT application will contain multiple inventions will still want to consider picking ISA/KR, since its second through nth inventions still only cost around $191 (at today’s exchange rate).

There are still many other factors which might influence an applicant’s selection of International Searching Authority, as I summarize here.


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