Amendments withdrawn or superseded in the Rule 137(4) period

If the applicant replies in time to the Rule 137(4) communication by withdrawing the amendments in respect of which the communication was sent but without identifying those amendments or indicating their basis in the application as filed, then no loss of rights will occur according to Rule 137(4). However, where the withdrawal results in the re-introduction of subject-matter that has already been objected to, the amendment introducing this subject-matter may be deemed to be inadmissible according to Rule 137(3) (see H‑II, 2.3).

No further Rule 137(4) communication will be sent in respect of further amendments filed in a timely response to the Rule 137(4) communication. By the expiry of the one-month period, the applicant must have identified and indicated the basis of:

amendments in respect of which the Rule 137(4) communication was sent and which are not superseded by further amendments filed during the one-month period under Rule 137(4), and
amendments filed during that one-month period. 

The applicant does not need to comply with Rule 137(4) in respect of amendments which are superseded by further amendments filed in the one-month period. For example:


Application filed: 10 claims


Extended European search report drawn up


Amended claims 1-10 filed in examination proceedings, no basis indicated


Examining division sends a Rule 137(4) communication in respect of amended claims 1-10 filed on 21.08.2013


Amended claims 6-10 filed

14.10.2013 (Monday)

One-month period under Rule 137(4) expires

In the above example, the applicant must, by expiry of the one-month period according to Rule 137(4) on 14.10.2013, indicate the basis for amended claims 1-5 as filed on 21.08.2013 and for amended claims 6-10 as filed on 07.10.2013, and failure to do so results in the application being deemed to be withdrawn according to Art. 94(4). It is not necessary for the applicant to indicate the basis for the superseded amendments to claims 6-10 filed on 21.08.2013. Note in particular that, where the basis for the amendments to claims 6-10 filed on 07.10.2013 is not indicated by 14.10.2013, then no further Rule 137(4) communication is sent in respect of these amendments and the application is deemed to be withdrawn on expiry of the one-month period on 14.10.2013.

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