Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 21 February 2014 concerning the refund of the search fee under Article 9(2) of the Rules relating to Fees

THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE,

having regard to Article 9(2) of the Rules relating to Fees,

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Refundable amounts

Where the European search report or the supplementary European search report is based on an earlier search report prepared by the Office on

-  an application whose priority is claimed, or

-  an earlier application within the meaning of Article 76 EPC, or

- an original application within the meaning of Rule 17 EPC,

the search fee paid for the search on the pending European patent application shall be refunded as follows:

Type of earlier search Level of benefit for current search and refund (expressed as percentage of fee paid for current search)
1. Searches with written opinion  
1.1 European search (Art. 92 EPC) on a European patent application filed on or after 1 July 2005 full 100 %
partial 25 %
1.2a) International search (Art. 15(1) PCT) on an international application filed on or after 1 January 2004 full 84 %
partial 21 %
1.2b) Supplementary international search (Rule 45bis PCT)
1.2c) Search made on behalf of a national office on a national application (BE[ 1 ], CY, FR, GR, IT, LT[ 2 ] , LU, MT, NL[ 1 ], SM[ 2 ], TR)
2. Searches without written opinion  
2a) European search (Art. 92 EPC) on a European patent application filed before 1 July 2005 full 70 %
partial 17,5 %
2b) International search (Art. 15(1) PCT) on an international application filed before 1 January 2004

2c) International-type search (Art. 15(5) PCT)

2d) Standard search
2e) Search made on behalf of a national office on a national application (BE, CY[ 3 ], FR, GR[ 3 ], LU, NL, TR)

Article 2

Refund level

If the EPO can make full use of the earlier search report, it shall make a full refund as indicated in Article 1.

If the EPO can make partial use of the earlier search report, it shall make a partial refund as indicated in Article 1.

Article 3

Criteria for refund and refund procedure

The criteria determining the applicable refund level (full or partial use of the earlier search report) and the refund procedure shall be governed by the notice from the European Patent Office dated 9 January 2009 concerning the criteria for refund of search fees (OJ EPO 2009, 99).

Article 4

Entry into force

This decision shall enter into force on 1 July 2014 and shall apply to all European patent applications in respect of which the European or supplementary European search is completed on or after that date.

It replaces the decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 24 March 2010 (OJ EPO 2010, 338).

Done at Munich, 21 February 2014

Benoît Battistelli

President


[ 1 ] Includes international-type searches covered by a specific working agreement.

[ 2 ] Applies to search requests in respect of national applications filed as of 1 January 2014.

[ 3 ] Applies only to search requests in respect of national applications transmitted to the EPO after 1 January 2009.

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