Further processing (Art. 121 EPC) has replaced the former procedure under R. 108(3) EPC 1973 as the means of remedying the consequences of non-fulfilment of certain requirements for entry into the European phase (R. 160 EPC).
Concerning cases of non-unity of invention, under R. 112 EPC 1973 the applicant was able to pay, on entry into the European phase, additional search fees for inventions not searched in the PCT phase. Under the current provisions, the applicant pays for the supplementary European search (in respect of the invention or group of inventions first mentioned in the claims), which is performed unless the EPO acted as ISA or SISA (Supplementary International Searching Authority), but can no longer pay for additional searches in respect of further inventions in the application that were not searched during the international phase (R. 164 EPC). With regard to such inventions divisional applications can be filed after entry into the European phase.
Changes affecting the designation of states are described in Chapter IV.A. "Preliminary and formalities examination".
Date retrieved: 02 November 2015