Result of supplementary European search and refund of examination fee
577
Where the request for examination was filed before transmittal of the supplementary European search report, which is usually the case (see point 590591), the EPO invites the applicant after transmittal of the supplementary European search report to indicate within a six-month time limit whether he wishes to proceed further with the application, unless the applicant has expressly waived the right to receive such invitation (see point 591592). With the same communication, the applicant is invited to correct any deficiencies noted in the search opinion accompanying the supplementary European search report. Such a reply is mandatory if the search opinion was negative. If the applicant fails to file a reply in such a case, the application is deemed to be withdrawn (see points 579-580).
578
Where the applicant wishes to proceed further, he must notify the EPO accordingly within the six-month time limit. Within the same time limit he may or must, as the case may be, comment on the supplementary European search report by filing amendments. He must also make sure that, if the EPO has issued a negative written opinion, a substantive (mandatory) reply is submitted to ensure that the application is not deemed withdrawn in its absence (see point 492495).
579
If the applicant does not wish to proceed further, he may actively withdraw the application, or refrain from answeringallow it to lapse by simply not filing a reply within the time limit set in the respective invitation.communication under Rules 70(2) and 70a(2) EPC. This will result in the application being deemed withdrawn.
580
Where the application is withdrawn, refused or deemed withdrawn before the examining division substantive examination has assumed responsibilitybegun, the examination fee is refunded in full.
581
If the application is withdrawn, refused or deemed withdrawn after the applicantsubstantive examination has indicated that he wishesbegun but before expiry of the time limit for replying to proceed further andthe first invitation issued by the examining division under Art. 94(3) EPC or, if no such invitation has assumed responsibility, the applicant may be entitled to a refund of 75%been issued, before the date of the examination fee. However, if at that time the examining division has started substantive examinationcommunication under Rule 71(3) EPC, the examination fee will not beis refunded. at a rate of 50%.
R. 10 EPC
OJ 2009, 542
OJ 2013, 153

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