IP Federation supports use of credit cards for payment of fees at the IPO
31 March 2011
The President of the IP Federation has written to John Alty, Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office, making the following points:
- Until all fees are payable by credit card, our members need to operate deposit accounts at the IPO. However, there is an increasing reluctance in some companies to make pre-payments (which is what use of a deposit account amounts to), because of corporate governance concerns. There may well come a time, possibly quite soon, when at least some of our members will not be permitted to use a deposit account at the IPO, and so some filing options will not be available to them.
- The processes used to top-up deposit accounts fall outside the normal financial processes of many businesses and so are labour-intensive and inefficient. At least some users would be keen to move to credit card payments for all fee payments if this were possible, and abandon their deposit accounts altogether.
- In relation to PCT fees, which are mostly passed on to WIPO, we believe the handling fee should cover any credit card charges. If the handling fee is not sufficient to cover the credit card charges, a supplement for paying PCT fees by credit card could be looked at, at least so that this payment route is available as a safety net in an emergency.
- If credit card payments were introduced for all fees, the IPO would save resource, not just in administering the deposit accounts, but also in responding to requests for statements – which are not yet available online.