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

 
 
Completion of an omitted act
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The EPC makes provision for omitted acts to be completed, depending on the nature of the missed time limit.  
Guid. E-VII, 2
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If you miss a time limit vis-à-vis the EPO, it is generally sufficient to request further processing of the application. Further processing should be requested by payment of the fee within two months of the date on which the communication concerning either the failure to observe a time limit or a loss of rights is notified. The omitted act must be completed within that period. No reasons need to be given for the request. Further processing is ruled out in respect of certain time limits as listed in Article 121 and Rule 135(2).
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Re-establishment of rights (restitutio in integrum) is available for those time limits for which further processing is ruled out. However, this will be granted only if you were unable to meet the time limit despite taking all due care required by the circumstances.
If you act through a representative, your application for re-establishment will be granted only if the representative has also taken the care demanded of the applicant in Article 122(1).
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Re-establishment of rights is excluded in respect of time limits for which further processing is available and in respect of the period for requesting re-establishment of rights. Re-establishment of rights is however available in respect of the time limit for requesting further processing. Further processing and re-establishment of rights are not available for missed periods for payment of extension fees, as these are not EPC periods. 
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Applications for re-establishment of rights must be filed within two months from removal of the cause of non-compliance. The omitted act must be completed within the same period. Applications are admissible only within the year immediately following the missed time limit. Requests for re-establishment of rights in respect of any of the periods specified in Article 87(1) and in Article 112a(4) must however be filed within two months of expiry of that period.
The application must state the grounds on which it is based, and must set out the facts on which it relies. It is not deemed to have been filed until the fee for re-establishment of rights has been paid.