The payment of these fees must take place within a period of two months (Rule 64(1)). If the automatic debiting procedure is being used for the application, applicants must inform the EPO within this period if they do not want all or any of the further inventions to be searched. Otherwise all the further search fees due will be debited automatically on the last day of the period.

If the applicant does not pay any further search fees within the time limit fixed, no further search is effected and the partial search report becomes the final search report which is accompanied by the search opinion;. Nevertheless, the final decision on the question of unity of invention is taken by the examining division or, ultimately, the competent board of appeal (B‑VII, 1.4 and C‑III, 3.1.1).
If the applicant pays further search fees within the time limit fixed, the search is completed for all inventions or groups of inventions in respect of which the further search fees have been paid. The final search report is then drawn up for all inventions for which (additional) search fees have been paid. The search opinion addresses any issue where the application in respect of the inventions for which additional search fees have been paid does not meet the provisions of the EPC (for example: Invention 1 was searched and the applicant paid an additional search fee for invention 3. The subject-matter of invention 3 lacks novelty. Thus, the search opinion covers invention 1 and raises objections as to lack of novelty for the subject-matter of invention 3.). 

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