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European Patent Convention (EPC 1973)

 
 
A revised version of the European Patent Convention entered into force on 13 December 2007. The provisions of the revised Convention apply unless the transitional provisions provide for the applicability of the EPC 1973.

Article 167 117/118

Reservations

Art. 35, 63, 178



(1) Each Contracting State may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification or accession, make only the reservations specified in paragraph 2.


(2) Each Contracting State may reserve the right to provide that:


(a)119 European patents, in so far as they confer protection on chemical, pharmaceutical or food products, as such, shall, in accordance with the provisions applicable to national patents, be ineffective or revocable; this reservation shall not affect protection conferred by the patent in so far as it involves a process of manufacture or use of a chemical product or a process of manufacture of a pharmaceutical or food product;


(b) European patents, in so far as they confer protection on agricultural or horticultural processes other than those to which Article 53, sub-paragraph (b), applies, shall, in accordance with the provisions applicable to national patents, be ineffective or revocable;


(c) European patents shall have a term shorter than twenty years, in accordance with the provisions applicable to national patents;


(d) it shall not be bound by the Protocol on Recognition.


(3)120 Any reservation made by a Contracting State shall have effect for a period of not more than ten years from the entry into force of this Convention. However, where a Contracting State has made any of the reservations referred to in paragraph 2(a) and (b), the Administrative Council may, in respect of such State, extend the period by not more than five years for all or part of any reservation made, if that State submits, at the latest one year before the end of the ten-year period, a reasoned request which satisfies the Administrative Council that the State is not in a position to dispense with that reservation by the expiry of the ten-year period.


(4) Any Contracting State that has made a reservation shall withdraw this reservation as soon as circum-stances permit. Such withdrawal shall be made by notification addressed to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and shall take effect one month from the date of receipt of such notification.


(5) Any reservation made in accordance with paragraph 2(a), (b) or (c) shall apply to European patents granted on European patent applications filed during the period in which the reservation has effect. The effect of the reservation shall continue for the term of the patent.


(6) Without prejudice to paragraphs 4 and 5, any reservation shall cease to have effect on expiry of the period referred to in paragraph 3, first sentence, or, if the period is extended, on expiry of the extended period.



117 See decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 3/92, G 7/93 (Annex I).

118 Austria made the reservations provided for in Article 167, paragraph 2(a) and Article 167, paragraph 2(d) (OJ EPO 1979, 289) ; these reservations ceased to have effect after 7 October 1987. Greece and Spain made the reservations provided for in Article 167, paragraph 2(a) (OJ EPO 1986, 200). These reservations ceased to have effect after 7 October 1992 (OJ EPO 1992, 301) (but see Art. 167(5)).

119 See Legal advice No. 4/80 (Annex II).

120 The period in respect of which Greece and Spain made reservations was extended by five years from 7 October 1987 (Decision of the Administrative Council of 05.12.1986 which entered into force on 05.12.1986 (OJ EPO 1987, 91 ff)).

Cross-reference list
Art. 167 -