IPONZ recently published an update advising that they have removed late payment fees for PCT applications where IPONZ is the designated Receiving Office:
For new PCT applications from 15 May 2023:
- We will no longer charge late payment fees for these PCT applications.
- If the application fees are not paid by the deadline, we will invite the applicant to pay the fees within an extended deadline, however no late fee will be added.
- If the application fees are still not paid, we will withdraw the PCT application after this extended deadline has lapsed.
Prior to the change, whenever IPONZ received a new PCT application, they required its fees to be paid by a one-month deadline, or a late payment fee would be applied under Rule 16bis. In practice, IPONZ would invite the applicant to pay the outstanding fees plus a late fee within one month of the date of invitation, which in effect sets a further deadline.
The new approach appears to operate in the same manner (i.e., compatible with Rule 16bis), except for the optional late fee being applied. If charged, the late fee is higher than 50% of the outstanding fees or the Transmittal fee, but not higher than 50% of the International Filing fee, with a few exceptions.
It’s not often that we get to report on a patent office removing a fee, but it’s definitely some welcome news for anybody looking at filing into New Zealand.