Entry into force of a new system for search and examination fee refunds (Articles 9(1) and 11(b) of the Rules relating to Fees) following decisions J 25/10 and J 9/10 of the Legal Board of Appeal

In view of decisions J 25/10 1  and J 9/10 of the Legal Board of Appeal and their implications for current practice with regard to search and examination fee refunds, the Office has decided to implement a technical and administrative solution which will define specific, transparent search- or examination-related acts signalling the start of the search or examination and thereby fulfilling the requirements of these two decisions.

The new system was outlined in the notice from the European Patent Office dated 29 January 2013 2 ; it takes effect on 28 June 2013.

In particular, starting dates will be generated by and stored in the system to ensure that they are verifiable, being visible to all in the European Patent Register.  

For applications not yet published, these dates will be stored but visible only at the request of the applicant or his representative, or by file inspection using the MyFiles service. In MyFiles, they will be visible on Forms F1704 and F2095 for the search and examination respectively.

1. OJ EPO 2011, 624

2. OJ EPO 2013, 153

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