Further searches on a non-unitary application in a different technical field
Another case where the search division consists of more than one examiner is where a lack of unity is found to exist between subject-matter in different technical fields. Such cases are handled as follows:
The search on the invention first mentioned in the claims is carried out in one technical field by a first examiner. A search opinion (if applicable – see B‑XI, 7
) is prepared giving the reasons for the lack of unity and an opinion on this first invention. The applicant is sent a partial search report, along with an invitation to pay additional search fees (see B‑VII, 1.1
The applicant pays additional search fees for inventions falling into another technical field (see B‑VII, 1.2.1
Those inventions falling into the other different technical field are then searched by a second examiner competent for that field.
The second examiner then adds an opinion on the additional inventions which he has searched to the opinion already drafted by the first examiner relating to unity and the first invention.
In very exceptional cases, the search on other inventions will need to be carried out by more than one further examiner (second, third and possibly further examiners). Here the procedure is analogous to that explained above.