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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
5.
Unity in relation to the search opinion 

Where the Search Division finds that the claimed invention does not meet the requirement of unity of invention (Art. 82 and Rule 44(1) and (2)), the Search Division sends the applicant an invitation to pay additional search fees and the partial search report relating to the invention or unitary group of inventions first mentioned in the claims (see B-VII, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 and Rule 64(1)). The invitation and partial search report are not accompanied by a search opinion.

After the time limit for payment of the additional search fees has expired, (Rule 64(1)) the applicant is sent a search report relating to the invention or unitary group of inventions first mentioned in the claims and all other claimed inventions or unitary groups of inventions in respect of which additional search fees have been paid. This is accompanied by a search opinion containing:

(i)
the reasoning behind the lack of unity 
(ii)
an opinion on the first invention or unitary group of inventions mentioned in the claims 
(iii)
an opinion on all inventions or unitary groups of inventions in respect of which additional search fees have been paid 

The above applies only to European search reports. For supplementary European search reports on Euro-PCT applications lacking unity of invention, a partial search report is issued directly on the invention first mentioned in the claims only (Rule 164(1) - see B-VII, 2.3).