1.
Start of the international preliminary examination 

The EPO as IPEA will start the international preliminary examination when it is in possession of all of the documents and fees required under Rule 69.1(a). It will not wait until the applicable time limit under Rule 54bis.1(a) has expired unless the applicant expressly requests it to do so.

Where the statement concerning amendments filed with the demand indicates that the applicant would like the international preliminary examination to take into account amendments under Article 34 but the applicant failed to submit them with the demand, the IPEA will invite it to do so within a set time limit, pursuant to Rule 60.1(g) (Form PCT/IPEA/431). The IPEA will not start the international preliminary examination until it has received them or before expiry of the time limit set in the invitation pursuant to Rule 60.1(g), whichever occurs first.

Similarly, where the applicant would like the international preliminary examination to take into account amendments under Article 19 and any accompanying statements, the IPEA will not start the international preliminary examination before it has received a copy of the amendments.

The EPO as IPEA does not apply Rules 69.1(b) and 69.1(b-bis), i.e. it will not start the international preliminary examination at the same time as the international search.

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