1. Pursuant to Article 11(2) of the Agreement between the EPO and WIPO under the PCT, [ 1 ] paragraphs 3 and 5 of Part II of Annex C to the agreement have been amended with effect from 1 April 2017. The complete text of Part II as amended is published below.
Fees and Charges
Part II. Conditions for and Extent of Refunds or Reductions of Fees
(1) Any amount paid by mistake, without cause, or in excess of the amount due, for fees indicated in Part I shall be refunded.
(2) Where the international application is withdrawn or considered withdrawn, under Article 14(1), (3) or (4), before the start of the international search, the amount of the search fee paid shall, upon request, be fully refunded.
(3) Where the Authority benefits from an earlier search already made by the Authority on an application whose priority is claimed for the international application and depending upon the extent to which the Authority benefits from the earlier search in carrying out the international search and any other task entrusted to it, the search fee paid shall be refunded, to the extent provided for in a communication from the Authority to the International Bureau and published in the Gazette.
(4) In the cases provided for under Rule 58.3, the amount of the preliminary examination fee paid shall be fully refunded.
(5) Where the international application or the demand is withdrawn before the start of the international preliminary examination, the amount of the preliminary examination fee paid shall be fully refunded.
(6) The Authority may provide further refunds of the international preliminary examination fee under the conditions and to the extent laid down by it.
(7) The Authority shall refund the supplementary search fee if, before it has started the supplementary international search in accordance with Rule 45bis.5(a), the supplementary search request is considered not to have been submitted under Rule 45bis.5(g).
(8) The Authority shall refund the supplementary search fee if, after receipt of the documents specified in Rule 45bis.4(e)(i) to (iv), but before it has started the supplementary international search in accordance with Rule 45bis.5(a), it is notified of the withdrawal of the international application or the supplementary search request.
2. As a result of the amendment to paragraph 3 of Part II, the reference to privately commissioned "standard" searches has been deleted because such searches are no longer performed by the EPO.
3. As a result of the amendment to paragraph 5 of Part II, the rate at which the preliminary examination fee is refunded if the international application or the demand for international preliminary examination is withdrawn before the start of the international preliminary examination has been increased from 75% to 100%. Paragraph 5 as amended applies to all refunds of the preliminary examination fee made by the EPO on or after 1 April 2017.