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Administrative Provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Administrative Provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty

In Chapter V of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, provisions regarding all Administrative processes and their respective offices and/or organizations are included into international patent law. Articles 53 through 56 provide for regulations and rules to be observed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty by the Assembly, the Executive Committee, the International Bureau, and the Committee for Technical Cooperation respectively.
Article 53: The Assembly
The Assembly is to be comprised of the member states or countries signatory to the PCT. Each country shall appoint one representative or delegate. The elected delegate may also have others assisting him/her, such as alternate delegates, advisers, and certain kinds of experts. As a collective faction, the Assembly has many responsibilities as it pertains to the PCT. In essence, the Assembly is the governing body that deals with all aspects of the PCT legislation and international patents at the administrative level. Some of the key responsibilities delegated to the Assembly under the international patent law include:
         The maintenance and development of International Patent Cooperation Union, as well as the enforcement and implementation of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
         Perform all tasks as delegated by the international patent law provided under the Treaty.
         Provide for direction to the International Bureau with concerns regarding conferences held for revisions of international patent law.
         Report to the Director General of the International Patent Cooperation Union all activities and matters related to the Union.
         The adoption of the triennial budget for the Union, and the approval and regulation of all financial accounts.
         Establish any pertaining and/or necessary committees to further the competence of the Union.
         The determination of allowing those states or countries not signatory to the Treaty to enter meetings as observers; this is also extended to those organizations involved with international patents–such as International Patent Search and Preliminary Examination Organizations of a non-governmental nature.
In situations where members of the Assembly must vote on particular actions to be taken by the organization, each contracting state or nation and its appointed delegate have one vote to be entered for consideration. All decisions by the Assembly require two-thirds votes in order to carry out the motion at hand. International patent law also requires that a quorum be formed by have of the contracting states or countries. This is act as a form of checks and balances when certain motions regarding decisions upon the Assembly itself are to be voted on. A majority decision is also implemented in the case of decisions regarding the Assembly.
It is also mandated that an Executive Committee be formed once the number of signatory nations reaches forty. Originally, it was instated that the Assembly would approve and regulate the triennial budget program, as well as any other programs created by the Director General. However, a provision under this article explicitly limits this action “Until the Executive Committee has been established.” The Assembly is to meet under the request of the Director General, or by a one-fourth vote of the contracting states or nations.
Article 54: The Executive Committee
In the event that an Executive Committee would be established under the provisions set forth in Article 53, the PCT provided enough insight to include regulations and procedures to be delegated to the Committee upon its inception. The Executive Committee is formed by members of the Assembly, which allows for one delegate of each contracting nation to appointed, along with any others needed to assist the appointed delegate. The Committee is to be comprised of one-fourth of the members of the Assembly.
In the case that the total number of Assembly members exceeds a division by the number of four, only the immediate number of seats is to be considered and the others are not included. Members of the Committee are on active duty from the close of an Assembly meeting, to the next installment of an Assembly session. The Executive Committee is to establish its own regulations regarding the election of members, and such members can be re-elected as long as no more than two-thirds are considered for a new term. Other responsibilities and duties of the Executive Committee are:
         The preparation of the agenda of the Assembly.
         The submission of proposals to the Assembly for program changes and the budget of the Union that are prepared by the Director General.
         Provide for reports, as well as yearly audit reports on accounts to the Assembly.
         The implementation of the Union programs by the Director General and the decisions of the Assembly. This also extends to include the addressing to any particular circumstances that may arise between the two factions.
         When decisions affect other organizations under the Organization, taking and administering the advice as provided by the Coordinating Committee of the Organization.
         The Committee is to meet once a year upon request of the Director General.
Similar to the Assembly, the Executive Committee is also to have one vote for each member in the decision making processes. Also, a quorum is to be established consisting of half of the members in the Committee. The Committee is also responsible for adopting its own regulations and procedures as deemed necessary for the more efficient progress of the administrative responsibilities of the Union.
Article 55: The International Bureau
The International Bureau is the administrative faction of the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO for short, located in Geneva, Switzerland. Initially created under the Madrid System for international trademark registrations, the International Bureau also has a hand in international patents and international patent law. Under the PCT, certain tasks are bestowed upon the International Bureau, which performs most of the administrative responsibilities of the of the Union. The Director General acts as the Chief Executive of the Union, and is the key representative of the Union. The International Bureau has the following responsibilities to adhere to under international patent law:
         The publishing of a Gazette pertaining to international patents.
         The Director General of the International Bureau may participate in all meetings of the Assembly and the Executive Committee. However, the Director General will not have the right to vote in decision proceedings
         The Director General is to be considered the ex officio secretary of the factions or organization under the Treaty.
         The responsibility of making the appropriate preparations for revision conferences.
Article 56: The Committee for Technical Cooperation
Under the international patent law, the Assembly is to establish a Committee for Technical Cooperation. This Committee is to include the International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities as ex officio members. The purpose is to allow for such factions to have their own organization and develop their own regulations and administrative procedures. The Assembly, however, holds the responsibility of appointing the members to the Committee.
The total numbers of the Committee are to be at least double the amount of ex officio members, depending on the total number of contracting states or nations. The Committee also has the task of providing for advise and recommendations to the other factions as are required. This Committee is also in place to govern the procedures and administrative responsibilities of the International Searching Authorities and the International Preliminary Examining Authorities. The Committee is also employed to help and assist to the best of its abilities, or deal with all concepts within its jurisdictions, the Assembly and the Executive Committee.
Article 57: Finances
The budget of the International Patent Cooperation Treaty Union is addressed under this provision. The budget of the Union, under international patent law, is to consider the income and expenses of the Union, as well as any organizations or factions in direct relation to the Union. Under the PCT international patent law, the budget shall consist of:
         Fees and charges for services of the International Bureau pertaining to the Union.
         Sales and royalty fees from publications of the International Bureau relating to the Union.
         Gifts and donations
         Rents, interests, and other income.
If, in any given year, the budget is not to cover the expenses of the involved organizations, and the year is to show a deficit, the contracting states or countries are responsible to furnish contributions to help cover the deficit. The amount to be covered by each contracting nation is to be determined by the Assembly, and will be based upon each countries’ number of international patents being processed and registered. If a particular nation fails to contribute to the deficit within two years that such request was made by the Union, it may have its right to vote in decision matters revoked.
In certain circumstances, if there are extenuating reasons that such payment was not made, the right to vote may still be instated, at the discretion of the Union. Furthermore, under this provision, it is also addressed that if a particular budget system is not implemented at the beginning of a new fiscal period, the budget applied the previous year will be implemented. Also, a working capital fund is to be implemented, where each contracting nation contributes a single payment. The auditing for the capital fund is to be conducted by one or more of the contracting states, or an external auditing faction.