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Guide for applicants, Part 2: PCT procedure before the EPO (Euro-PCT Guide)

 
 
When must the request for examination be filed? When must the examination fee be paid?
588
The request for examination must be filed and the examination fee paid within 31 months from the filing date or, if priority has been claimed, from the earliest priority date, or up to six months after the date of publication of the ISR, whichever time limit expires later. Therefore, as a rule and unless the ISR was published after 25 months from the date of filing or the earliest priority date, the request for examination must be filed and the examination fee paid within the 31-month time limit. 
589
In most cases the request for examination must be filed and the examination fee must be paid before the supplementary European search report is transmitted to the applicant (see point 575). After transmission of the report, the EPO will invite the applicant to indicate whether he wishes to proceed further with the application (see point 575). The applicant can waive his right to be asked whether he wishes to proceed further with the application, e.g. by crossing the box in Section 4.2 of Form 1200.
590
On the right to a refund of the examination fee see points 578 ff.
591
Neither the drawing-up of a supplementary European search report (see points 570 ff) nor publication of the translation of the Euro-PCT application (see points 511 ff) affect the time limit for filing the request for examination and payment of the examination fee.