Refund of search fees
The search fee paid for a European or supplementary European search shall be fully refunded if the European patent application is withdrawn or refused or deemed to be withdrawn at a time when the Office has not yet begun to draw up the search report.
Where the European search report is based on an earlier search report prepared by the Office on an application whose priority is claimed or an earlier application within the meaning of Article 76 of the Convention
or of Rule 17 of the Convention
, the Office shall refund to the applicant, in accordance with a decision of its President, an amount which shall depend on the type of earlier search and the extent to which the Office benefits from the earlier search report when carrying out the subsequent search.