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Guidelines for Examination


2. Search Division

The Search Division is responsible for drafting extended European search reports under Art. 92, including a search opinion pursuant to Rule 62(1), as well as for drafting all of the different types of search report referred to in B‑I, 1, and B‑II, 4. The Search Division is also responsible for issuing a pre-search invitation under Rule 62a(1) (see also B‑VIII, 4) to clarify or where necessary limit the subject-matter to be searched. The issuing of an invitation under Rule 63(1) is also within the responsibility of the Search Division (cf. B‑VIII, 3.1). Furthermore, it draws up a partial search report together with an invitation to pay additional search fees under Rule 64(1) or Rule 164(1) in case of lack of unity. The unit within the EPO responsible for carrying out the search and drawing up the search report for an application is a Search Division, which consists normally of one examiner. The examiner responsible for the search on a European application is also normally the first member of the Examining Division for that application.

In this Part B, the term "examiner" is used to mean the examiner entrusted with the search within the Search Division which is responsible for drawing up the search report and the search opinion (see B‑XI).


Art. 17
Art. 18