Legal texts

The official source of up-to-date legal texts from the European Patent Office (EPO).

European Patent Convention (EPC)

The European Patent Convention provides an autonomous legal system for the granting of European patents via a single, harmonised procedure before the EPO.

Guidelines for examination

Covering the main aspects of the patent grant procedure: formalities, search, substantive examination, opposition and general procedural matters.

Examination at the EPO as PCT Authority

The Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT authority give instructions on the practice and procedure to be followed in various aspects of the handling of international applications before the EPO as International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority.

Extension/validation system

Applicants for a European patent have a simple and cost-effective way of obtaining patent protection in third countries on the basis of the extension and validation systems.

London Agreement

The London Agreement (Article 65 EPC) is aimed at reducing translation costs for European patents.

Official Journal

The Official Journal contains decisions of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, decisions of the President of the EPO and detailed further information relevant to the EPC and its implementation.

National law relating to the EPC

A concise and reliable guide to the most important provisions and requirements of EPO contracting and extension states' national law as applicable to European patent applications and patents.

Handbook of quality procedures before the EPO

The Handbook aims to provide a guide to preferred practices endorsed by both the EPO and user representatives. It is meant to serve as complementary publication to the existing legal texts.


Archived legal texts, and information about revisions and updates.

Searching in EPO legal texts

To search within full-text HTML versions of EPO legal texts, use our advanced website search. You can limit your search to one or more of these texts.

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