The request for examination must be filed and the examination fee paid within 31 months from the filing date or, if priority has been claimed, from the earliest priority date, or up to six months after the date of publication of the ISR, whichever time limit expires later. Therefore, as a rule and unless the ISR was published after 25 months from the date of filing or the earliest priority date, the request for examination must be filed and the examination fee paid within the 31-month time limit.
In most cases the request for examination must be filed and the examination fee must be paid before the supplementary European search report is transmitted to the applicant (see point 575). After transmission of the report, the EPO will invite the applicant to indicate whether he wishes to proceed further with the application (see point 575). The applicant can waive his right to be asked whether he wishes to proceed further with the application, e.g. by crossing the box in Section 4.2 of Form 1200.
On the right to a refund of the examination fee see points 578 ff.
Date retrieved: 02 November 2015
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EPC Implementing Rules
XR.159 EPC The European Patent Office as a designated or elected Office – Requirements for entry into the European phase