14 Mar 2016

T 0736/14 - One invention examined

EPO Headnote

If an applicant whose application is non-unitary responds unclearly and/or in a misleading way to an invitation from the examining division to designate which searched invention it wishes to prosecute further (e.g. by submitting a main request covering one invention and an auxiliary request covering the other invention searched), it cannot be automatically assumed that the applicant selected the invention covered by the main request for examination. Rather, the examining division must clarify, e.g. via a further communication, which of the searched inventions the applicant actually wants it to examine. Confronting the applicant with an irrevocable decision not to admit an auxiliary request covering one of the inventions searched, without giving an opportunity to comment on its admissibility beforehand, is regarded as a substantial procedural violation (see Reasons, point 3).

  • The present case concerns the application of the remark in G 2/92 that: " At the examination stage, having regard to the requirement of unity of invention and the fact that only one examination fee can be paid for each application, clearly only one invention in each application is to be examined for conformity with the patentability and other requirements of the EPC"

EPO T 0736/14 - link

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