Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (Consolidated Appropriations Act), the USPTO splits the national fee for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications entering the national stage into a separate national fee, search fee and examination fee, during fiscal years 2005 and 2006.  The USPTO announced that it is reducing the search fee and examination fee for certain PCT applications entering the national stage, effective February 1, 2005. The changes in this interim rule apply to all international applications entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371 for which the basic national fee specified in 35 U.S.C. 41 is paid on or after December 8, 2004.

(1) The Office will refund the entire search fee less $100.00 ($50.00 for small entities) if the search fee as set forth in ?? 1.445(a)(2) and (a)(3) has been paid on the international application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office as an International Searching Authority for all of the claims presented in the application entering the national stage; and

(2) the Office will refund $100.00 ($50.00 for small entities) if an international search report on the international application has been prepared and is provided to the Office no later than the time at which the search fee is paid. In addition, under the authority provided in 35 U.S.C. 376, the Office will refund the entire examination fee less $100.00 ($50.00 for small entities) if an international preliminary examination report on the international application prepared by the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority states that the criteria of novelty, inventive step (non-obviousness), and industrial applicability, as defined in PCT Article 33(1) to (4) have been satisfied for all of the claims presented in the application entering the national stage.

See the Federal Register here.

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