For Euro-PCT applications where the EPO acted as the International Searching Authority (ISA) and, where a demand under Art. 31 PCT was filed, also as the International Preliminary Examining Authority, or as the authority specified for supplementary international search, the applicant will already have responded to a negative WO‑ISA, IPER or supplementary international search report prepared by the EPO (unless the communication under Rule 161 was issued before 1 April 2010 – see E‑IX, 3.3.3).
This response may comprise amendments and/or observations filed in response to the communication under Rule 161(1) (or possibly filed earlier – see E‑IX, 3.3.1).
If applicants accept the search division's suggestion regarding an acceptable form of amendment of the claims to overcome the objections raised (see PCT‑EPO Guidelines, B‑XI, 3.3), applicants are requested to adapt the description to the claims on file and delete or amend any statements or expressions which throw doubt on the scope of protection (see F‑IV, 4.3).
Any amendments filed at this stage are made by applicants of their own volition in accordance with Rule 137(2) (for more details see C‑III, 2.2). This response will be taken into account by the examining division when drafting the first communication according to Art. 94(3) or, in exceptional cases, the annex to the summons to oral proceedings (C‑III, 5). For more details, see E‑IX, 4.1, E‑IX, 4.2 and E‑IX, 4.3.