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Case Law of the Boards of Appeal

 
 
5.2. Request for examination

J 4/88 (OJ 1989, 483), summarised under point 5.1 above, deals with the reduction of both the filing fee and the examination fee.

In J 21/98 (OJ 2000, 406) the appellant (applicant), who had filed a request for examination in Italian within the time limit provided for under Art. 94(2) EPC 1973 (see now R. 70(1) EPC), and simultaneously an English translation, had been refused the 20% reduction in the examination fee pursuant to Art. 14 EPC 1973. According to the Receiving Section, the written request for examination in the Italian language should have been filed together with the request for grant. However, according to the board, Art. 94(2) EPC 1973, in connection with Art. 75, Art. 92 and Art. 94(1) EPC 1973, was to be interpreted such that, within the grant procedure, the request for examination constituted an autonomous step quite separate from the (previous) step of filing the patent application, enabling the applicant to consider whether to continue the grant procedure in the light of the search report. Since the EPC 1973 gave the applicant the right to file the request for examination after the publication of the search report, it followed that the same right had to be owed to the applicant who wanted to avail himself of the option provided for in Art. 14(2) and (4) EPC 1973 (see also J 22/98, J 6/99, J 14/99 and J 15/99).

In J 36/03 the board held that the examination fee should be reduced if the request for examination was filed in an authorised non-official language, even in cases where the application was transferred, before the examination fee was paid, to an applicant who was not one of the persons referred to in Art. 14(2) EPC 1973.