If the supplementary European search report is dispensed with, the examining division will start examination upon expiry of the time limit set in the communication under Rule 161 and 162 EPC. Where it considers that an invention is claimed which was not searched by the EPO in the international phase, it will invite the applicant to pay a search fee in respect of that invention.
The examining division will send the applicant the results of any search carried out in respect of an invention for which a search fee has been paid. If the examining division has not found any deficiencies, together with the results it will send the applicant a communication informing him of the text in which it intends to grant the patent and of the related bibliographic data (Rule 71(3) EPC). If the examining division has found deficiencies, together with the results it will send the applicant a communication inviting him to comment on the deficiencies and, where appropriate, to amend the application (Article 94(3) EPC and Rule 71(1) and (2) EPC). Where appropriate, the applicant must limit the application to a single searched invention to be prosecuted in the patent grant procedure. For any searched or unsearched subject-matter, divisional applications may be filed.
Date retrieved: 24 November 2017