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Guidelines for Examination


2.2 Complete search despite of lack of unity

Exceptionally, in cases of lack of unity, especially "a posteriori", the examiner is able to make a complete search and prepare a search opinion (where applicable - see B‑XI, 7) for all inventions with negligible additional work and cost, in particular when the inventions are conceptually very close. In those cases, the search for the further invention(s) is completed together with that for the invention first mentioned in the claims. All results should then be included in a single search report, which raises the objection of lack of unity and identifies the different inventions. It further indicates that the Search Division did not invite the applicant to pay further search fee(s) because all claims could be searched without effort justifying such a fee. However, the search opinion (if applicable, see B‑XI, 7) still raises the issue of unity of invention (see B‑XI, 5).