Before issuing a “negative” IPER, the EPO as IPEA will, as a rule, issue a second written opinion, thereby providing the applicant with a further opportunity to submit amendments and/or arguments to overcome any objections raised therein. A request for a second written opinion need not be filed. A second written opinion will be issued on condition that the applicant filed in due time a substantive reply either to the WO-ISA established by the EPO or to the first written opinion established by the EPO as IPEA. The procedure may be different and a second written opinion may not necessarily be issued if a request for consultation by telephone is filed by the applicant (see points 392
ff). In this context the term "negative" IPER is to be understood as an IPER informing the applicant of a deficiency to which he must respond under Rule 161(1) EPC
if he decides to enter the European phase (see points 503
ff). If the IPER contains no objections or only minor objections which do not hinder a direct grant in the European phase, the IPER is considered positive.