Under the PCT, the EPO, as an International Searching Authority, may be entrusted to carry out "international-type searches" for national patent applications (Art. 15(5) PCT). These searches are by definition similar to international searches, and the same considerations apply, except where unity of invention is lacking; in case of a lack of unity in a national application subject to an international-type search, no reasoned statement on the lack of unity is included in the search report. Furthermore, no invitation to pay additional fees is issued, but applicants may have the possibility to pay these fees directly to the national offices. In cases where a written opinion is established, it is drafted in accordance with EPO practice under PCT Chapter I, including a reasoned statement in respect of any potential lack-of-unity objection.
Date retrieved: 24 November 2017