The top-up search will be conducted before/at the same time as issuing the first WO-IPEA (Form 408)/telephone consultation or, where no written opinion is produced, the IPER (Form 409) (approximately 23 months from the priority date). A further top-up search before issuance of the IPER is normally not necessary.
In the case of non-unity where there is more than one invention claimed for which examination under Chapter II is demanded, the examiner will first issue an invitation to pay additional examination fees (Form 405) and then perform the top-up search for all inventions for which additional examination fees have been paid.
The IPEA must indicate in the IPER whether or not a top-up search has been done. The date indicated in the form is the date of the latest top-up search. The box which indicates that no top-up search has been done is only ticked if all the claims are exempted from top-up search.