Quick Navigation

 

Guidelines for Examination

 
 
3.1
Invitation to indicate subject-matter for search 

If the EPO considers that the application does not comply with the EPC to such an extent that it is impossible to carry out a meaningful search into the state of the art on the basis of all or some of the subject-matter claimed (see B-VIII, 12 and 3), it will invite the applicant to file, within a period of two months, a statement indicating the subject-matter to be searched. The invitation will also give the reasons behind this finding and may additionally indicate the claimed subject-matter on which the Search Division considers it feasible to base a meaningful search.

In the particular case of medical method claims, a complete search report is issued only when the claims can easily be reformulated to patentable subject-matter (see B-VIII, 2.1). Conversely, if an incomplete search report (or a declaration of no search) is envisaged, an invitation must be sent (e.g. in respect of the claims that cannot easily be reformulated).