2.4
Files arriving late 

If the demand has been validly received by the EPO very late, the examiner will telephone the applicant and explain the situation. In such cases applicants will then be asked whether they prefer to:

– 
discuss the application over the phone and receive a short time limit to file amendments (e.g. one to two weeks, set by the telephone minutes); or 
– 
receive a WO-IPEA with a short time limit (e.g. one to two weeks); or 
– 
receive a negative IPER without further interaction; or 
– 
receive a WO-IPEA with a longer time limit, in which case the IPER will be issued late. 

In those very exceptional cases where the file is so late that even with a time limit of one to two weeks the IPER would be issued after 28 months, applicants will be asked whether they would like a time limit to file amendments although the IPER will be late or prefer a timely but negative IPER without further interaction.

In the above-mentioned exceptional cases where after a telephone consultation the applicant does not wish to file amendments/observations but agrees that a negative IPER can be established directly, the examiner will send a direct negative IPER.

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