Quick Navigation

 

The European Patent Convention

 
 

Rule 164[ 149 ]
Unity of invention and further searches

(1)
If the European Patent Office considers that the application documents which are to serve as the basis for the supplementary European search do not comply with the requirement of unity of invention, it shall:  
(a)
draw up a partial supplementary search report on those parts of the application which relate to the invention, or the group of inventions within the meaning of Article 82, first mentioned in the claims;
(b)
inform the applicant that, for the supplementary European search report to cover the other inventions, a further search fee must be paid, in respect of each invention involved, within a period of two months; and 
(c)
draw up the supplementary European search report for the parts of the application relating to inventions in respect of which search fees have been paid. 
(2)
If the supplementary European search report is dispensed with and the Examining Division considers that in the application documents which are to serve as the basis for examination an invention, or a group of inventions within the meaning of Article 82, is claimed which was not searched by the European Patent Office in its capacity as International Searching Authority or Authority specified for supplementary international search, the Examining Division shall:
(a)
inform the applicant that a search will be performed in respect of any such invention for which a search fee is paid within a period of two months;  
(b)
issue the results of any search performed in accordance with paragraph (a) together with:
a communication under Article 94, paragraph 3, and Rule 71, paragraphs 1 and 2, in which it shall give the applicant the opportunity to comment on these results and to amend the description, claims and drawings, or
a communication under Rule 71, paragraph 3,
and 
(c)
where appropriate, in the communication issued under paragraph (b), invite the applicant to limit the application to one invention, or group of inventions within the meaning of Article 82, for which a search report was drawn up by the European Patent Office in its capacity either as International Searching Authority or as Authority specified for supplementary international search, or for which a search was performed in accordance with the procedure under paragraph (a).
(3)
In the procedure under paragraph 2(a), Rules 62a and 63 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
(4)
Rule 62 and Rule 70, paragraph 2, shall not apply to the results of any search performed in accordance with paragraph 2.
(5)
Any fee paid under paragraphs 1 or 2 shall be refunded if the applicant requests a refund and the Examining Division finds that the communication under paragraphs 1(b) or 2(a) was not justified.
 
Amended by decision of the Administrative Council CA/D 17/13 of 16.10.2013 (OJ EPO 2013, 503), entered into force on 01.11.2014.
See also notice from the EPO, OJ EPO 2014, A70.
References

Art. 82, 153

 
Version history +
13.12.2007 - 31.03.2010 
Decision of the Administrative Council of 07.12.2006 (CA/D 10/06), (OJ EPO 2007, 8 and Special edition 1/2007)
01.04.2010 - 31.10.2014 
CA/D 20/09 (OJ EPO 2009, 582)
01.11.2014 -  
CA/D 17/13 (OJ EPO 2013, 503)
 
Cross-reference list
EPC EPC 1973
R. 164R. 112