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Guide for applicants, Part 1: How to get a European patent

 
 
Examination on filing
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On receiving an application the Receiving Section examines whether it can be accorded a date of filing. This is the case if the application documents contain: 
— 
an indication that a European patent is sought  
— 
information identifying the applicant 
— 
a description or a reference to a previously filed application 
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It is not necessary to file any claims in order to obtain a date of filing. You may file claims within two months from the date of filing or from an invitation requesting you to do so. However, you should take care that the late-filed claims do not contain subject-matter which extends beyond the content of the application as originally filed. 
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If a date of filing cannot be accorded because any deficiencies found have not been remedied in due time despite an invitation to do  
so, the application will not be dealt with as a European patent application. For a date of filing to be accorded, the documents do not have to meet any particular requirements as to form or presentation. It is essential, however, that they be sufficiently legible to enable the information to be discerned. 
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Once the date of filing has been accorded, the Receiving Section examines whether the filing and search fees have been paid in due time and whether a translation of the application into the language of the proceedings, if required, has been filed in due time (see points 114, 115 and 42-46). If the filing fee or search fee has not been paid in due time, the European patent application is deemed to be withdrawn. However, see point 225 for the possibility of further processing.