1.2.4 Unity of Invention

Date Published

An international-type search may be established on one invention only for each fee that is paid (Schedule 7 Part 2 Item 236).

The examiner will consider the question of unity of invention in the same way as for a normal international search (see 1.1.4 Unity of Invention) and the following procedure applies:

  • If the examiner considers there is lack of unity, the examiner, with prior approval of the Supervising Examiner will write a letter to the applicant advising that the application does not comply with the requirements of unity of invention, giving reasons, inviting an indication of which invention is to be searched and advising that we are prepared to search one or more of the other inventions upon payment of a 15(5) search fee for each invention for which a search is required.  The letter is to be prepared using the “Create Corro” function in PAMS (see 5.12.3 Requesting a Search Statement).  The Supervising Examiner will also add a case note to the ecasefile using a QA form indicating their approval.

  • No further action is to be taken by the examiner until a reply has been received from the applicant.  If no reply is received within one month, the examiner will send a reminder letter to the applicant. If after a further month there is still no reply, or the reply does not indicate that the search could commence in the near future, then the examiner, with the supervising examiner's concurrence, will send a letter to advise the applicant that no search will be carried out and although IP Australia is unable to refund the fee paid for the filing of the request under regulation 3.14A - see IP Australia's Refund Policy - they may request a partial waiver of the fee, which will be considered in light of the particular circumstances and will not generally exceed 50% of the applicable fee.  Once the letter has been sent, the examiner can then complete the Edit Ecase task in PAMS. Upon a request of a partial waiver of fee being made, the case will be referred to AGM (ELEC) for consideration.

  • The basis of any search actually conducted will be indicated on the first sheet of the report (see Annex C).

Note: See Customer Service Charter Timeliness Guidelines for time limits to issue the international-type search report.