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Guidelines for Examination


2.2 After receipt of the search report - Rule 137(2)

After receiving the European search report and the search opinion, the applicant must respond to the search opinion (see B‑XI, 8) and may, in his reply and of his own volition, amend the description, claims and drawings (see C‑II, 3 and subparagraphs, and C‑III, 3.2). Likewise, for applications for which no supplementary European search report is prepared (see B‑II, 4.3) when entering the European phase from the PCT, the applicant is required to respond to the WO-ISA, IPER or SISR where the ISA and, if applicable, the IPEA or SISA was the EPO (see E‑VIII, 3.1 and 3.2). This response to the WO-ISA, IPER or SISR may include amendments made by the applicant of his own volition to the description, claims and drawings. Thereafter, the applicant may amend the application only with the consent of the Examining Division.

For applications:

for which no search opinion is prepared (see B‑XI, 1.1 and 7),
for which a search opinion was prepared, but where the search report was drawn up before 1 April 2010 (in which case Rule 70a does not apply and the applicant is not required to respond to the search opinion), or
which enter the European phase from the PCT, where the EPO was the ISA, IPEA or SISA and prepared a written opinion, but for which a communication under Rule 161 was already issued before 1 April 2010,

it is after receipt of the first communication from the examiner in examination proceedings that the applicant may "of his own volition, amend once the description, claims and drawings", provided that the amendment and his reply are filed within the time limit for replying to that communication.