GL C II 1 Request for examination

In order that examination of a European application can begin, the applicant is required to file a request for examination, which, however, is not deemed to be filed until after the examination fee has been paid. The request for examination may be filed from the date on which the application is filed up to the end of six months after the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the European search report (see A‑VI, 2.1). If the request for examination is not filed within this period, the application is deemed to be withdrawn. However, in such a case, the applicant has the possibility of filing a request for further processing pursuant to Art. 121. The amount of the further processing fee to be paid depends on how many and which of the actions required for a valid request for examination have been omitted (see E‑VIII, 2). According to Rule 70(1), the request for examination may not be withdrawn.[Art. 94; Art. 121; Rule 70; Art. 122(4); Rule 136(3); ]
Subject to certain exceptions, the applicant must also respond to the search opinion within the above-mentioned period for filing the request for examination (see B‑XI, 9 and C‑II, 3.1), unless the EPO invites him to confirm an early request for examination according to Rule 70(2), in which case he must respond to the search opinion within the period provided for under Rule 70(2) (see C‑II, 1.1).[Rule 70a(1); (3); ]
Responsibility for examining the application passes from the Receiving Section to the examining division at the time when a request for examination is filed. This is subject to two exceptions:[Rule 10; Rule 70(2); ]
(i)if the applicant has filed a request for examination before the European search report has been sent to him, then the examining division is responsible only from the time when the confirmation of the request is received by the EPO following an invitation under Rule 70(2);
(ii)if the applicant has filed a request for examination before the European search report has been sent to him and has also waived the right to receive an invitation to confirm under Rule 70(2) (see C‑VI, 3), then the examining division is responsible only from the time when the search report is sent to the applicant.

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EPC Articles

EPC Implementing Rules

EPO Guidelines - A Formalities Examination

EPO Guidelines - B Search

EPO Guidelines - C Procedureal Aspects of Substantive Examination

EPO Guidelines - E General Procedural Matters

EPO Guidelines - H Amendments and Corrections

EPO Guide for Applicants, part II Int. - E Euro-PCT procedure before the EPO as designated or elected Office

Case Law Book: IV Divisional Applications