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Guidelines for Examination


10.1.1 Fee payments lacking a legal basis

There are two conditions for a fee payment to be fully valid:

the paymentit must relate to pending proceedings that are pending; and
it must be made in due time, i.e. the date of payment (see A‑X, 4) must be on or after the due date (see A‑X, 5.1.1).

If a payment does not relate to a pending European patent application (e.g. it relates to a patent application already deemed to have beenbe withdrawn) or to pending proceedings, there is no legal basis for the payment. In these cases, ; the amount paid must be refunded.

If the payment is made before or on the due date and if, no later than that date, the legal basis ceases to exist (e.g. because the patent application is deemed to be withdrawn or is withdrawn), the amount paid is to be refunded. For the designation fee and renewal fees see A‑X, 5.2.2 and 5.2.4, respectively.This also applies to renewal fees validly paid before the due date (Rule 51(1), second sentence). Fees paid after the due date and before expiry of the time limit for payment are refunded only if there is a particular reason for a refund (see A‑X, 10.2).