If during the supplementary European search the EPO comes to the conclusion that the application contains more than one independent claim in the same category which does not fall under the exceptions listed under Rule 43(2) EPC
, it may issue an invitation to indicate, within a time limit of two months, the basis on which the search is to be carried out (Rule 62a(1) EPC
). Similarly, if it is impossible to carry out a meaningful search on the basis of all or some of the subject-matter claimed, an invitation to file, again within a time limit of two months, a statement indicating the subject-matter to be searched will be issued. Any declaration of no search, or a partial supplementary European search report issued subsequently due to failure to overcome the deficiency, takes the place of the European search report.