Lack of unity at the search stage 

If the lack of unity finding is raised at the search stage, a search is conducted for the invention first mentioned in the claims and the applicant is invited to pay additional search fees with Form PCT/ISA/206 (hereafter referred to as "Form 206"). The applicant can then decide to:

not pay any additional fees, 
pay some or all fees without protest or 
pay some or all fees under protest. 

At the same time as completing Form 206, the examiner completes the provisional opinion accompanying the partial search results (EPO Form 1707) for the searched first invention. Form 206 and EPO Form 1707 are sent together to the applicant. The examiner must give a complete and self-contained reasoning for the lack of unity in EPO Form 1707.

In the case of a doublure (see GL/PCT‑EPO B‑IV, 1.1) where the earlier application also lacked unity, the applicant should be invited to pay additional fees even if all inventions were searched in the earlier application. The amount refunded will then be decided for each invention separately.

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