Rule 46 – European search report where the invention lacks unity
(1) 73 If the Search Division considers that the European patent application does not comply with the requirement of unity of invention, it shall draw up a partial European search report on those parts of the European patent application which relate to the invention, or the group of inventions within the meaning of Article 82, first mentioned in the claims. It shall inform the applicant that if the European search report is to cover the other inventions, a further search fee must be paid, for each invention involved, within a period to be fixed by the Search Division which must not be shorter than two weeks and must not exceed six weeks. The Search Division shall draw up the European search report for those parts of the European patent application which relate to inventions in respect of which search fees have been paid.
(2) Any fee which has been paid under paragraph 1 shall be refunded if, during the examination of the European patent application by the Examining Division, the applicant requests a refund and the Examining Division finds that the communication referred to in the said paragraph was not justified.
72See opinion of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 2/92 (Annex I).
73Amended by decision of the Administrative Council of 20.10.1977 which entered into force on 01.02.1978 (OJ EPO 1978, 12 ff).