(1)105 The European Patent Office shall act as an International Searching Authority within the meaning of Chapter I of the Cooperation Treaty for applicants who are residents or nationals of a Contracting State in respect of which the Cooperation Treaty has entered into force, subject to the conclusion of an agreement between the Organisation and the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
(2) Subject to the prior approval of the Administrative Council, the European Patent Office shall also act as an International Searching Authority for any other applicant, in accordance with an agreement concluded between the Organisation and the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
(3)106 The Boards of Appeal shall be responsible for deciding on a protest made by an applicant against an additional fee charged by the European Patent Office under the provisions of Article 17, paragraph 3(a), of the Cooperation Treaty.
105 See Agreement between the EPO and WIPO under the PCT as of 01.11.2001 (OJ EPO 2001, 601 ff) amended with effect from 01.01.2004 (OJ EPO 2003, 631) and the notice from the President of the EPO dated 26.11.2001 concerning limitation of the EPO's competence as a PCT authority (OJ EPO 2002, 52 ff), partially lifted by the notice from the President of the EPO dated 31.10.2003 (OJ EPO 2003, 633).
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