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Guidelines for Examination in the EPO

 
 

 

 

 

Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office


 

Published by the European Patent Office


 

 


 

List of Contents



 

General Part


 

Contents

a

 
 

1.

Preliminary remarks

 

2.

Explanatory notes

 

2.1

Overview

 

2.2

Abbreviations

 

3.

General remarks

 

4.

Work at the EPO

 

5.

Survey of the processing of applications and patents at the EPO

 

6.

Contracting States to the EPC

 

7.

Extension to states not party to the EPC


 

Part A - Guidelines for Formalities Examination


 

Contents

 
 

Chapter I

Introduction

 

Chapter II

Filing of applications and examination on filing

 

Chapter III

Examination of formal requirements

 

Chapter IV

Special provisions

 

Chapter V

Communicating the formalities report; amendment of application; correction of errors

 

Chapter VI

Publication of application; request for examination and transmission of the dossier to Examining Division

 

Chapter VII

Applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) before the EPO acting as a designated or elected Office

 

Chapter VIII

Languages

 

Chapter IX

Common provisions

 

Chapter X

Drawings

 

Chapter XI

Fees

 

Chapter XII

Inspection of files; communication of information contained in files; consultation of the Register of European Patents;

issuance of certified copies


 

Part B - Guidelines for Search


 

Contents

 
 

Chapter I

Introduction

 

Chapter II

General

 

Chapter III

Characteristics of the search

 

Chapter IV

Search procedure and strategy

 

Chapter V

Preclassification (routing) and official classification of European patent applications

 

Chapter VI

The state of the art

 

Chapter VII

Unity of invention

 

Chapter VIII

Subject-matter to be excluded from the search

 

Chapter IX

Search documentation

 

Chapter X

Search report

 

Chapter XI

The abstract

 

- Annex

Checklist for considering the abstract (see XI, 5)

 

Chapter XII

The search opinion


 

Part C - Guidelines for Substantive Examination


 

Contents

 
 

Chapter I

Introduction

 

Chapter II

Content of a European patent application (other than claims)

 

- Annex

Units recognised in international practice and complying with

Rule 49(11) (see II, 4.16)

 

Chapter III

Claims

 

Chapter IV

Patentability

 

- Annex

Examples relating to the requirement of inventive step - indicators (see IV, 11.13)

 

Chapter V

Priority

 

Chapter VI

Examination procedure


 

Part D - Guidelines for Opposition and Limitation/Revocation Procedures


 

Contents

 
 

Chapter I

General remarks

 

Chapter II

The Opposition Division

 

Chapter III

Opposition

 

Chapter IV

Procedure up to substantive examination

 

Chapter V

Substantive examination of opposition

 

Chapter VI

Procedure for the examination of the opposition

 

Chapter VII

Details and special features of the proceedings

 

Chapter VIII

Decisions of the Opposition Division

 

Chapter IX

Costs

 

Chapter X

Limitation and revocation procedure


 

Part E - Guidelines on General Procedural Matters


 

Contents

 
 

Introduction

 
 

Chapter I

Communications and notifications

 

Chapter II

Procedure for amendments to documents

 

Chapter III

Oral proceedings

 

Chapter IV

Taking and conservation of evidence

 

Chapter V

Derogations from the language of the proceedings in oral proceedings

 

Chapter VI

Examination by the EPO of its own motion; facts, evidence or grounds not submitted in due time; observations by third parties

 

Chapter VII

Interruption and suspension of the proceedings

 

Chapter VIII

Time limits, loss of rights, further and accelerated processing and re-establishment of rights

 

Chapter IX

Applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

 

Chapter X

Decisions

 

Chapter XI

Appeals

 

Chapter XII

Request from a national court for a technical opinion concerning

a European patent

 

Chapter XIII

Registering transfers, licences, other rights, etc.