Result of supplementary European search and refund of examination fee 
Where the request for examination was filed before transmittal of the supplementary European search report, which is usually the case, the EPO invites the applicant after transmittal of the supplementary European search report to indicate within a six-month time limit whether he wishes to proceed further with the application, unless the applicant has expressly waived the right to receive such invitation (see point 5.10.005). With the same communication, the applicant is invited to correct any deficiencies noted in the search opinion accompanying the supplementary European search report. Such a reply is mandatory if the search opinion was negative. If the applicant fails to file a reply in such a case, the application is deemed to be withdrawn (see points 5.9.013-5.9.014).
If the applicant wishes to proceed further to examination, he must notify the EPO accordingly within the six-month time limit indicated in the communication issued by the EPO (see point 5.9.011). Within the same time limit he may or must, as the case may be, comment on the supplementary European search report by filing amendments (see point 5.4.020).
If the applicant does not wish to proceed further to examination, he may actively withdraw the application, or allow it to lapse by simply not filing a reply within the time limit set in the communication under Rules 70(2) and 70a(2) EPC (see point 5.9.011). The latter will result in the application being deemed withdrawn.
Where the application is withdrawn, refused or deemed withdrawn before substantive examination has begun, the examination fee is refunded in full. 
If the applicant actively withdraws the application after substantive examination has begun but before expiry of the time limit for replying to the first invitation issued by the examining division under Art. 94(3) EPC or, if no such invitation has been issued, before the date of the communication under Rule 71(3) EPC, the examination fee is refunded at a rate of 50%.

Quick Navigation