Failure to meet the time limit set in the WO-ISA or the WO-IPEA does not constitute a formal loss of rights; see GL/PCT-EPO C‑IV, 3.
Requests for extension of the time limit for replying to the WO-ISA where it is considered as a first opinion of the IPEA are handled by the formalities officers. As a rule, a one-month extension will be granted if requested before expiry of the normal time limit under Rule 54bis and on condition that the time limit so extended does not expire later than 25 months from the (earliest) priority date; further extensions are not allowed. The extension does not apply to the time limit for filing the demand, which cannot be extended.
A request for extension of the time limit to reply to a WO-IPEA (Form 408) will be granted only if there is sufficient time available to grant the extension in view of the time limit laid down in Rule 69.2(i), i.e. if the extended time limit does not expire later than 27 months from the earliest priority date and the request is made prior to expiry of the set time limit.
If the ISR was delayed so that the time limit of 28 months for establishing the IPER cannot be met, the request for extension should be granted.