Quick Navigation

 

Guidelines for Examination

 
 

3. Further ways to accelerate examination

Where the applicant files a request for examination before the search report is transmitted to him, he may also dispense with the need to comply with the invitation pursuant to Rule 70(2), and file a categorical request for examination whatever the result of the search may be, by which the procedure can also be accelerated (see Notice from the EPO dated 4 May 2010, OJ EPO 2010, 352). In this case, confirmation that he desires to proceed further with his application is deemed to be given when the search report is transmitted to him, so that in accordance with Rule 62(1) the search report is not accompanied by a search opinion. Under these circumstances, if the application is not in order for grant, a communication under Art. 94(3) and Rule 71(1) and (2) is transmitted to the applicant. If the application is in order for grant, the subsequent procedure will depend on whether or not it is possible at that time to carry out the search for conflicting European applications according to Art. 54(3) (see C‑IV, 7.1 and B‑XI, 7). If that search can be carried out, and assuming that it does not identify any conflicting applications, then the communication under Rule 71(3) is transmitted to the applicant. If it cannot yet be carried out, then the communication from the examining division will be postponed until the said search is completed and the applicant will be informed accordingly. If the European patent application is subsequently withdrawn before the substantive examination has begun, 75% of the examination fee will be refunded (for more details see A‑VI, 2.5).

The applicant can also accelerate the processing of Euro-PCT applications by waiving his right to the communications under Rule 161 and Rule 162 (see E‑VIII, 3.1).