3.3.1 Amendments where Rule 71(3) EPC communication is the first communication

The applicant's right to amend the application of his own volition after receipt of the examiner's first communication was shifted to the procedural stage of response to the opinion accompanying the European search report (see Decision of the Administrative Council, which entered into force on 1 April 2010, OJ 2009, 299).

Thus, by way of exception, in cases where the R. 71(3) EPC communication is also the first communication in examination proceedings, amendments filed in response thereto must be admitted into the proceedings under R. 137 EPC. However, where a further R. 71(3) EPC communication is sent in respect of such cases, any amendments filed in response thereto must be consented to by the examining division according to R. 137(3) EPC (see Guidelines C‑V, 4.4 – November 2018 version).

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