Applicants are entitled to a refund of the whole amount of the international preliminary examination fee if the demand is withdrawn before 30 months from the priority date and on condition that international preliminary examination has not started. If the examiner has actually started to examine the file, no refund will be made. The starting date of international preliminary examination can in most cases be derived from Form PCT/IPEA/409, which in Box I, point 6, indicates the date of the top-up search (Rule 70.2(f)). GL/PCT‑EPO C‑IV, 5.1, explains that the top-up search is conducted at the start of international preliminary examination and is usually not repeated before the IPER is issued.
The withdrawal of the demand will be effective upon receipt of a notice from the applicant to the IB. However, the applicant may also submit the notice of withdrawal to the EPO as IPEA. In this case, the EPO as IPEA marks the date of receipt on the notice and transmits it promptly to the IB. The notice is considered to have been submitted to the IB on its date of receipt at the EPO as IPEA.
The signature of each applicant is required if the demand under Chapter II is withdrawn.