Making suggestions 

It must be emphasised that it is not part of the duty of the search division to require the applicant to amend the application in a particular way to meet an objection, since the drafting of the application is the applicants' responsibility and they are free to amend in any way they choose provided that the amendment removes the deficiency and otherwise satisfies the requirements of the EPC. However, it may sometimes be useful if the search division suggests at least in general terms an acceptable form of amendment, but if it does so it has to make it clear that the suggestion is merely for the assistance of the applicant and that other forms of amendment will be considered in examination proceedings. Although the search division is not obliged to do so, it does indicate to the applicant those amendments which would overcome the objections raised, if there is a clear way out.

When suggesting an acceptable form of amendment to the claims, the search division will also invite the applicant to adapt the description to bring it into line with the amended claims (see F‑IV, 4.3).

Responsibility for determining the text of the application and in particular for defining the subject-matter for which protection is sought remains with the applicant (Art. 113(2) EPC).

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