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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
3.3
The invitation under Rule 70a(1)

Under Rule 70a(1) the applicant is invited to respond to the ESOP within the period referred to in Rule 70(1) or, where applicable, within the period referred to in Rule 70(2) (see B-XI, 8), unless the applicant has waived the communication under Rule 70(2) (see C-VI, 3).

Where the request for examination (including payment of the examination fee) is filed after the search report has been transmitted to the applicant, the applicant must respond to the ESOP within the period referred to in Rule 70(1). In such cases the invitation under Rule 70a(1) is sent in a single communication together with the communication according to Rule 69(1) (see A-VI, 2.1). This combined communication under Rule 70a(1) and Rule 69(1) is issued shortly after the mention of the publication of the European search report in the European Patent Bulletin (in general, this is approximately one week later).

Where the request for examination (including payment of the examination fee) is filed before the search report has been transmitted to the applicant, the applicant must respond to the ESOP within the period referred to in Rule 70(2). In such cases the invitation under Rule 70a(1) is sent in a single communication together with the communication according to Rule 70(2). With regard to how the period referred to in Rule 70(2) is calculated for these cases, see C-II, 1.1, for Euro-direct applications and C-II, 1.2, for Euro-PCT applications for which a supplementary European search report is prepared.