PCT Working Group – November 2001
In 2001, IFIA fully supported the reform of Patent Cooperation Treaty formally proposed by the USA representative at a WIPO meeting (the PCT Assembly) in September-October 2000. The USA suggested that the reform of the PCT should take place in 2 stages. A first five-year stage, with a modest scope, that of reducing formalities and costs, as well as modifying certain PCT procedures so that they become conform to those of the recently adopted Patent Law Treaty (PLT). The second five-year stage proposed by the USA for the reform of the PCT is intended to lead to a much more in depth and drastic change of the PCT
IFIA fully supported the elimination of the entire concept of designation of States so that the filling of an international application would automatically constitute the filing of an international application for all PCT States. In doing so, the inventor community will benefit from the simplification of application procedure, reducing the filing cost in a large number of countries, and moving toward the establishment of the world patent which is the long-term objective of all inventors.
IFIA understands the arguments put forward by the WIPO Secretariat, namely that the elimination altogether of the concept of “designation” would require a thorough review of the overall structure of the PCT system as a whole, something which can only be achieved through the revision of the Treaty itself. IFIA therefore agrees with the idea of reviewing and changing the operation of the current designation system so that such reform can be approved at a very early stage, by the PCT Assembly at its next session, in September 2002.
IFIA also supported the elimination of the present “designation fee” and the replacement of the so-called “basic fee” by a flat “international filing fee,” irrespective of the number of designations made.
IFIA would also hope that the PCT Assembly decides to offer a similar 50% reduction to the “natural persons” who are applicants from all PCT countries which are not listed among those countries already receiving a 75% reduction.