According to an amendment to the regulations under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) adopted by the Assembly of the International Patent Cooperation Union (PCT Union) on September 30, 2014, at its Forty-Sixth (27th Extraordinary) Session, with effect from July 1, 2015, a revised schedule of fee structure is provided. As per amendment to the PCT Schedule of Fees, the 90% fee reductions in item 5 of the Schedule of Fees is applicable, if the international application is filed by:
- an applicant who is a natural person and who is a national of and resides in a State that is listed as being a State whose per capita gross domestic product is below US$ 25,000 (according to the most recent 10-year average per capita gross domestic product figures at constant 2005 US$ values published by the United Nations), and whose nationals and residents who are natural persons have filed less than 10 international applications per year (per million population) or less than 50 international applications per year (in absolute numbers) according to the most recent five-year average yearly filing figures published by the International Bureau; or
- an applicant, whether a natural person or not, who is a national of and resides in a State that is listed as being classified by the United Nations as a least developed country;
Provided that, if there are several applicants, each must satisfy the criteria set out in either sub-item (a) or (b).
Further, as per understanding adopted by the PCT Assembly, which became effective from October 11, 2017; the above stated 90% fee reduction would be applicable only to those applicant(s) who are the sole and true owners of the application and are under no obligation to assign, grant, convey or license the rights in the invention to another party which is not eligible for the fee reduction.
Hence, only if the PCT international application is filed by the sole and true owners of the invention satisfying the criteria set out in either sub-item (a) or (b) of item 5 of the Schedule of Fees, the 90% fee reduction is allowed. In case, the request for such fee reduction is filed by the assignee or other party on behalf of the sole and true owners of the PCT international application, such fee reduction shall not be allowed if such party is otherwise not eligible for the fee reduction.