How to get a European patent, Guide for applicants

How to get a European patent

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16th edition, May 2016, updated to 1 March 2016

The "Guide for applicants" has been designed to provide inventors, companies and their representatives with an outline of the procedure involved in applying for a European patent, offering practical advice to smooth the way through the various stages.

Content description

This updated 16th (May 2016) edition of the Guide is based on the revised European Patent Convention (EPC 2000) which entered into force on 13 December 2007. All references to articles or rules in the Guide therefore relate to the EPC as in force since that date. The Guide cannot go into the details or specific issues of the European patent grant procedure, and it does not constitute an official commentary on the European Patent Convention (EPC).

If you need more detailed information, you are advised to consult the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, a comprehensive guide to every stage of the grant procedure and to EPO practice.

Available formats and amendments

To consult the most up-to-date version of "How to get a European patent, Guide for applicants (16th edition, May 2016)", please use the HTML files.

In the HTML publication, modifications can be viewed by ticking the "Show modifications" box in the upper right corner, which displays inserted text with a green background and deleted text in red strikethrough font. For sections in which no changes have been made, the tick box is greyed out.

The PDF files reflect the latest printed edition of "How to get a European patent, Guide for applicants (16th edition, May 2016)".

While the HTML version is optimised for online use, the PDF version offers the best solution for off-line browsing, including full-text search functionality.

A printed version of the Guide is also available (see the following section for how to order it).

The content of the Guide is also available as an e-learning module.

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The printed version of "How to get a European patent, Guide for applicants (16th edition, May 2016)" can be ordered using this order form. It is available in English, French and German.

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