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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
2.1.3
Filing fee, designation fee, request for examination, search fee and claims fees 

Under Rule 159(1)(c), the applicant must pay the filing fee, including any additional fee for pages in excess of thirty-five (see A-III, 13.2), within a period of 31 months from the date of filing or, if priority has been claimed, from the earliest priority date. Further, under Rule 159(1)(d), he must pay the designation fee within this period, if the time limit specified in Rule 39(1) has expired earlier. Under Rule 159(1)(f), the request for examination must also be filed within this period, if the time limit specified in Rule 70(1) has expired earlier. Where a supplementary European search report needs to be drawn up, a search fee must also be paid to the EPO within this period. Failure to pay in due time the filing fee, the additional fee, the search fee, the designation fee or the examination fee, or to file the request for examination, means that the application is deemed to be withdrawn.

If the EPO finds that the application is deemed to be withdrawn for this reason, it communicates this to the applicant (Rule 160(2)).

The communication under Rule 160(2) and the communication according to Rule 112(1) are sent together in one and the same communication. In response to this notification of a loss of rights, the applicant can request further processing. Any loss of rights ensues on expiry of the normal period (see G 4/98).

If applicable, the claims fees under Rule 162 must also be paid within the 31-month time limit referred to above. If they are not, they may still be validly paid within a non-extendable period of grace of six months of notification of a communication pointing out the failure to pay, which is combined with the communication under Rule 161. If amended claims are filed during this grace period, they form the basis for calculating the number of claims fees due. Where a claims fee has not been paid in time, the claim concerned is deemed to be abandoned. Features of a claim deemed to have been abandoned pursuant to Rule 162(4) and which are not otherwise to be found in the description or drawings cannot subsequently be reintroduced into the application and, in particular, into the claims.