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

 
 
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General provisions governing periods 
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Annex VI contains charts illustrating actions applicants have to take within periods laid down in the EPC.  
The principle is that a period is calculated from the day after the date on which the relevant event occurred. In the case of a notification, the event considered is the receipt of the document notified, subject to the provisions governing notification. The generally applicable procedure for notifications is indicated below. Period expiry is regulated in Rule 131(3)-(5). In certain special cases a period may be extended in accordance with Rule 134.
A period will be deemed to have been observed if a document received late was posted, or delivered to a delivery service recognised by the President of the EPO (Chronopost, DHL, Federal Express, flexpress, TNT, SkyNet or UPS), at least five calendar days before the relevant period expired, unless the document was received later than three months after the period expired. 
Special edition No. 3, OJ 2007, I.1
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A period set by the EPO may also be extended provided that a request for extension is submitted before it expires. However, a request for extension which would make the total period over six months long will be allowed only in special cases.  
 
OJ 1989, 180
OJ 1994, 229
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All decisions, summonses, notices and communications from which a period is reckoned are delivered as notifications.  
As a rule, notification is effected by registered letter, which is deemed to be delivered on the tenth day following its posting unless it fails to reach the addressee or reaches him at a later date.