6.4. Dispensing with further search fee

In W 36/90 and W 19/89 the board observed that where there was lack of unity in an international application, in particular if the objection was evident a posteriori, the search examiner might decide to supplement the international search with a search on the additional inventions as well as on the first invention. This was so particularly if the concepts of the inventions were very close and none of them required a search in different classification units, so that the search could be performed for all the inventions without creating too much extra work (see PCT Search Guidelines as agreed upon by the Interim Committee for Technical Cooperation at its seventh session in Geneva in October 1977, PCT/INT/5). In such a case no objection of lack of unity should be raised because charging further fees would be incompatible with the principle of equity vis-à-vis the applicant (see G 1/89; for searches of additional inventions without payment of fees, see paras 10.64-10.65 PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines, as in force from 1.1.2019, and Guidelines for Examination B‑VII, 2.2 – November 2018 version; see also e.g. T 755/14).

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