Lack of unity of invention 
If the search division considers that the application does not comply with the requirement of unity of invention (see point 4.2.003), it draws up a partial European search report on those parts which relate to the invention first mentioned in the claims. It informs you that, if the search report is to cover the other inventions, you must pay a further search fee in respect of each of them within a non-extendable period of two months.
If you do not respond to this invitation, and if the examining division considers the search division's objection justified, you are deemed to want the application to proceed in respect of the invention for which the (partial) search report has been drawn up. If you pay further search fees, the European search report is drawn up for those inventions for which further search fees have been paid. 
A provisional opinion on the patentability of the invention or unitary group of inventions first mentioned in the claims is provided together with the reasons for any non-unity findings and the invitation to pay further search fees. The provisional opinion is for information only. A reply addressing the points raised in the provisional opinion is not required and is not taken into account when the extended European search report is issued. 
The application must not include claims for subject-matter for which a further search fee has not been paid. You may however file divisional applications for such subject-matter (see points 5.8.001-5.8.005).
Any further search fees paid will be refunded on request if it emerges during examination proceedings that the search division's findings concerning lack of unity of invention was not justified. 
Upon drawing up the European search report, the search division determines the definitive content of the abstract and transmits it to you together with the search report. 

Quick Navigation