The search fee for a European or supplementary European search is refunded in cases provided for in Art. 9 RFees and in the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 24 March 2010, OJ EPO 2010, 338, which applies to European patent applications in respect of which the European or supplementary European search is completed on or after 1 July 2010. Details on criteria for refund of search fees are given in the Notice from the EPO dated 9 January 2009, OJ EPO 2009, 99.
For the purposes of Art. 9(1) RFees, the date of the start of the search is indicated in the public part of the dossier and is thus open to file inspection in the European Patent Register after publication of the patent application (see also B‑IV, 1). Before publication, the EPO will provide the applicant with the relevant information upon request, or this information can be accessed electronically via the MyFiles service.