Rule 164 EPC
provides the applicant with an opportunity to pay upon invitation, within a two-month period, a further search fee for any invention which has not been searched by the (Supplementary) International Searching Authority in the international phase but which the applicant claims upon expiry of the time limit set in the communication under Rules 161
and 162 EPC
. This opportunity is available both where a supplementary European search is to be carried out (the EPO was not the (S)ISA) and where the supplementary European search is dispensed with (the EPO acted as (S)ISA). The further search fees are not subject to the fee reduction under Article 153(7) EPC
(see point 593
), which applies only to the search fee payable under Rule 159(1)(e) EPC
. Moreover, any further search fees cannot be validly paid until an invitation pursuant to Rule 164 EPC
has been issued. The inventions for which a further search fee is paid will be searched by the EPO. The search will not be based on any amendments filed in response to an invitation to pay search fees.