GL E IX 4.1 At least one communication in examination

If deficiencies persist in the application even after the applicant has filed his response to the WO-ISA, supplementary international search report or IPER (as required by Rule 161(1)), the examining division will in general issue at least one communication according to Art. 94(3) and Rule 71(1) and (2) in subsequent examination proceedings and will consider the applicant's reply thereto before issuing a decision or a summons to oral proceedings. This applies regardless of whether a communication according to Rule 164(2)(a) has been issued. In exceptional cases, summons to oral proceedings may be issued as the first action in examination proceedings (see C-III, 5).

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EPC Articles

EPC Implementing Rules

EPO Guidelines - C Procedureal Aspects of Substantive Examination

EPO Guidelines - E General Procedural Matters