Following the applicant's reply to the search opinion (see B-XI, 8), WO-ISA, IPER or supplementary international search report prepared by the EPO (see E-VIII, 3) or to the first communication, the examiner must examine the application, taking into account observations or amendments made by the applicant.
Where the application is one of those mentioned in H-III, 2.1.4, Rule 137(4) requires that any amendments made by the applicant in reply to the search opinion, WO-ISA, IPER or supplementary international search report be identified and their basis in the application as filed indicated. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the Examining Division sending a communication according to Rule 137(4). For more details of the procedure, see H-III, 2.1.1 and H-III, 2.1.2.
In the case of one or more auxiliary request(s) directed to alternative texts for grant of a patent, every such request qualifies as a text submitted or agreed by the applicant within the meaning of Art. 113(2) and therefore must be dealt with in the order indicated or agreed to by the applicant, up to and including the highest-ranking allowable request, if any (see also H-III, 3 and C-V, 1.1). It is also to be noted that, for the types of application mentioned in H-III, 2.1.4, Rule 137(4) must also be complied with in respect of auxiliary requests, which may also be subject to a communication according to Rule 137(4).