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

 
 
III.
Publication of the European patent application 
149
The European patent application is published as soon as possible after the expiry of eighteen months after the date of filing or the earliest priority date. You may however request that it be published earlier.  
The publication contains the description, the claims and any drawings, all as filed, plus the abstract. If the European search report is available in time, it is annexed (A1 publication); if not, it is published separately (A3 publication). A European patent application which was not filed in English, French or German is published in the language of proceedings. 
Guid. A-VI, 1.3
Guid. A-VI, 1.5
All European patent applications, European search reports and European patent specifications are published in electronic form only, on the EPO's publication server. The publication server is accessible via the EPO website (www.epo.org).
Guid. A-VI, 1.4
150
If you amend the claims after receiving the European search report but before completion of the technical preparations for publication (see point 172), the amended claims will be published in addition to the claims as filed. The technical preparations are deemed to have been completed five weeks before expiry of the eighteenth month after the date of filing or, if priority is claimed, after the date of priority.
Special edition No. 3 OJ 2007, D.1
151
The European patent application is not published if it has been finally refused or withdrawn or deemed withdrawn before completion of the technical preparations for publication.  
Guid. A-VI, 1.2
Special edition No. 3 OJ 2007, D.1
152
The EPO informs you of the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions publication of the European search report, and it draws your attention to the period for filing the request for examination (paying the fee for examination), which begins on that date (see point 155). It also informs you that the designation fees must be paid within six months of the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions publication of the European search report and that the same period applies to the payment of any extension fees.
153
For the provisional protection that the application confers after publication see the third paragraph of point 5.
A contracting state not having the language of the proceedings as an official language may prescribe that provisional protection does not take effect until a translation of the claims into one of its official languages at your option or, where that state has prescribed the use of one specific official language, in that language:  
(a) 
has been made available to the public in the manner prescribed by national law, or  
(b) 
has been communicated to the person using the invention in that state. The contracting states all make provisional protection conditional upon a translation of the claims. The same applies to the extension states (see point 26). For more information you are referred to "National law relating to the EPC" (see point 4) and to the key points of the London Agreement, to be found on the EPO website (www.epo.org).
154
Once the European patent application has been published, files relating to it are available for public inspection by way of the European Patent Register, which can be accessed via the EPO website (see also point 80).
From that time, too, the public has access to the application's bibliographic data and to information about the state of the proceedings by means of the European Patent Register, which can be accessed via the EPO website (see Annex VIII).  
Guid. A-XI
OJ 2011, 110
OJ 2009, 598
The European Patent Register also allows you to monitor patent applications for updates using the Register Alert Service. 
Additional information about the form in which European patent applications and patents are published and about periodical EPO publications is given in Annex VIII.