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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

4.4 Further stages of the examination

If the examination under D‑X, 4.3 above leads to the conclusion that the request is allowable, then the next stage of the procedure - the establishment of the formal requirements for limitation as described under D‑X, 5 can begin. Otherwise, in accordance with Rule 95(2), a communication must be sent to the requester identifying the deficiencies and giving him the opportunity to correct them within a period to be specified. The normal period is two months (Rule 132(2)). It is, in principle, extendable, but only under exceptional circumstances.

The examiner may not adapt the description of his own motion (see D‑X, 5). In case of discrepancy between the claims and the description, he will always raise an objection.

If the requester responds in due time in a manner such that no objections remain, then the procedure continues as in D‑X, 5.

Rule 95(2) provides for only one opportunity to make amendments during limitation. However, if the response to the communication under Rule 95(2) overcomes the objections raised in that communication, but gives rise to new objections, the fundamental principle of the right to be heard under Art. 113(1) will normally make a further communication necessary in order to communicate the new objections to the requester before the decision to reject the request for limitation is issued (see D‑X, 6). Normally, no further amendments may be made in reply to that communication.

Rule 95(2) specifies that the Examining Division must give the requester one opportunity to correct the deficiencies. However, any request for oral proceedings according to Art. 116 must be granted if the request for limitation is not allowable. No further amendments may be submitted during oral proceedings if the opportunity to make amendments has already been taken.