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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
2.2
Time limit for filing the request for examination 

The request for examination may be filed by the applicant up to the end of six months after the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the publication of the European search report. The request for examination is not deemed to have been filed until the examination fee has been paid. If the applicant does not file the request for examination, including the payment of the examination fee, within the above time limit, then the procedure explained in A-VI, 2.3 applies.

The mandatory Request for Grant form (Form 1001), contains a written request for examination. The applicant has only one procedural act – payment in due time of the examination fee (Art. 94(1) and Rule 70(1)) – to worry about.

On the other hand, there is nothing to stop him paying the examination fee at the same time as he files the application. If, after receipt of the European search report, he decides not to pursue the application further and does not react to the invitation pursuant to Rule 70(2), the application will be deemed withdrawn pursuant to Rule 70(3), and the examination fee will be refunded in its entirety (see A-VI, 2.5).

If the applicant has filed an automatic debit order, the examination fee will normally be debited at the end of the six-month period. For cases in which he wishes the application to be transmitted earlier to the Examining Division, see the AAD in Annex A.1 of Supplement to OJ EPO 3/2009).

Point 12 AAD
Point 6.1(b) AAD

The request for examination may not be withdrawn.

Regarding Euro-PCT applications entering the European phase, see E-VIII, 2.1.3 and 2.5.2.