The general considerations relating to time limits are set out in E-VII. The time limit for response to a communication from the examiner should in general be between two and four months in accordance with Rule 132. The period to be allowed will be determined by the examiner taking all the factors relevant to the particular application into account. These include the language normally used by the applicant or his representative; the number and nature of the objections raised; the length and technical complexity of the application; the proximity of the EPO to the applicant or, if he has one, his representative; and the distance separating applicant and representative.
This time limit can be extended if the applicant so requests before it expires (see E-VII, 1.6). Failure to respond to a communication according to Art. 94(3) and Rule 71(1) and Rule 71(2) in time results in the application being deemed to be withdrawn. This loss of rights is subject to further processing (see E-VII, 2.1).