1875.02 Reply to Invitation Concerning Lack of Unity of Invention [R-07.2015]

PCT Administrative Instructions Section 603

Transmittal of Protest Against Payment of Additional Fees and Decision Thereon Where International Application Is Considered to Lack Unity of Invention

The International Preliminary Examining Authority shall transmit to the applicant, preferably at the latest together with the international preliminary examination report, any decision which it has taken under Rule 68.3(c) on the protest of the applicant against payment of additional fees where the international application is considered to lack unity of invention. At the same time, it shall transmit to the International Bureau a copy of both the protest and the decision thereon, as well as any request by the applicant to forward the texts of both the protest and the decision thereon to the elected Offices.

37 CFR 1.489 Protest to lack of unity of invention before the International Preliminary Examining Authority.

  • (a) If the applicant disagrees with the holding of lack of unity of invention by the International Preliminary Examining Authority, additional fees may be paid under protest, accompanied by a request for refund and a statement setting forth reasons for disagreement or why the required additional fees are considered excessive, or both.
  • (b) Protest under paragraph (a) of this section will be examined by the Director or the Director’s designee. In the event that the applicant’s protest is determined to be justified, the additional fees or a portion thereof will be refunded.
  • (c) An applicant who desires that a copy of the protest and the decision thereon accompany the international preliminary examination report when forwarded to the Elected Offices, may notify the International Preliminary Examining Authority to that effect any time prior to the issuance of the international preliminary examination report. Thereafter, such notification should be directed to the International Bureau.

Applicant may reply directly to the International Preliminary Examining Authority issuing the invitation by paying some or all additional fees or by restricting the claims to one invention. If applicant makes no reply within the set time limit, the international preliminary examination will proceed on the basis of the main invention only.

If applicant has paid an additional fee or fees, a protest to the holding of lack of unity of invention may be filed with the International Preliminary Examining Authority.


Form PCT/IPEA/420 is used by the Technology Center (TC) to inform the applicant of the decision regarding applicant’s protest on the payment of additional fees concerning unity of invention.


The TC checks the appropriate box, i.e., 1 or 2. If box 2 is checked, a clear and concise explanation as to why the protest concerning the unity of invention was found to be unjustified must be given.

Since the space is limited, supplemental attachment sheet(s) should be incorporated whenever necessary.


Form PCT/IPEA/420 must be signed by a TC Director. See MPEP § 1002.02(c), item (2).