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The U.S. Patent Office recently published its new fee schedule, which now includes fee codes 1714 and 1715 effective March 1, 2015. Those particular Fee Codes refer to additional International Searching Authorities (“ISA”‘s) and International Preliminary Examining Authorities (“IPEA”‘s) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for international patent applications filed with the U.S. Patent Office.

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“Really? They won’t examine a business method patent??” (Photo Credit: S. Brown all rights reserved; Sculpture is part and property of “Louis Vuitton Series 2” (no affiliation to this blog)).

Fee Code 1714 is the cost for an international patent search through Rospatent (currently $598 for all size entities), and Fee Code 1715 the cost for an international search through the Israel Patent Office, or “ILPO”, which now has a ‘new and improved’ English language website (currently $909 for all size entities). It appears that the ILPO will not serve as the ISA if the application contains “one or more claims relating to a business method as defined by certain International Patent Classification classes.” The EPO also poses this limitation. For more information on what the EPO considers to be precluded subject matter, you can refer to “Notice Concerning the EPO Competence to Act as PCT Authority, 1255 O.G. 878, Annex A” (Feb. 19, 2002). For a synopsis and chart of the classification groups, see link here and scroll to the section marked “B. Field of Business Methods.” The use of IP Australia is similarly restricted (and with additional restrictions pertaining to the field of mechanical engineering- Official Gazette notice re is at link, here).

With these additions, U.S. applicants my now elect the USPTO, the European Patent Office (EPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office, IP Australia, Rospatent or the ILPO as the ISA or IPEA.

A very useful, a printer-friendly version of the Fee Schedule in PDF format can be found at the link here.