If the EPO as ISA considers that the international application claims more than one invention, it states the reasons for its finding and invites the applicant to pay an additional fee for every further search, payable direct to the EPO. At the same time the EPO informs the applicant of the result of the partial international search, which is restricted to those parts of the application relating to the invention first mentioned in the claims. As from 1 April 2017, the EPO sends a provisional opinion on the patentability of the invention (or unitary group of inventions) first mentioned in the claims, together with the invitation to pay additional search fees and the partial search results.
The amount of the additional fee is reduced for applicants fulfilling the requirements for reduction of the search fee (see point 215).
Date retrieved: 30 December 2018
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EPC Implementing Rules
XR.158 EPC The European Patent Office as an International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority