3.6. Amendments after the decision to grant

Once the decision to grant is handed over to the EPO's internal postal service for transmittal to the applicant, the examining division is bound by it (see G 12/91, OJ 1994, 285) and can only amend it to the limited extent provided for in R. 140 EPC. In the examination procedure, this corresponds to the date on which the centrally generated Form 2006, "Decision to grant a European patent pursuant to Art. 97(1) EPC", is forwarded to the postal service. This date is shown at the bottom right-hand corner of Form 2006. The examining division is no longer competent to decide on a request for amendments or corrections under R. 139 EPC if the filing of the request and the completion of the proceedings occur on the same date (T 798/95) (see Guidelines H-II, 2.6).

In T 798/95 the decision to grant the European patent was handed over by the formalities section of the examining division to the EPO postal service for notification. The request for amendment of the application under R. 86(3) EPC 1973 was filed on the same day at 6.47 pm, thus after completion of the proceedings. Referring to G 12/91 (OJ 1994, 285), the board held that a request for amendment under R. 86(3) EPC 1973 filed after completion of the proceedings up to grant before an examining division was to be disregarded, even if the filing of the request and the completion of the proceedings occurred on the same date.

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