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European Patent Convention (EPC 1973)

 
 

Rule 51 77

Examination procedure

Art. 79, 97, 123
R. 36, 37, 38



(1) In the communication under Article 96, paragraph 1, the European Patent Office shall give the applicant an opportunity to comment on the European search report and to amend, where appropriate, the description, claims and drawings.


(2) In any communication under Article 96, paragraph 2, the Examining Division shall, where appropriate, invite the applicant to correct the deficiencies noted and to amend the description, claims and drawings.


(3) Any communication under Article 96, paragraph 2, shall contain a reasoned statement covering, where appropriate, all the grounds against the grant of the European patent.


(4)78 Before the Examining Division decides to grant the European patent, it shall inform the applicant of the text in which it intends to grant it, and shall invite him to pay the fees for grant and printing and to file a translation of the claims in the two official languages of the European Patent Office other than the language of the proceedings within a non-extendable period to be specified, which may not be less than two months or more than four months. If the applicant pays the fees and files the translation within this period, he shall be deemed to have approved the text intended for grant.


(5) If the applicant, within the period laid down in paragraph 4, requests amendments under Rule 86, paragraph 3, or the correction of errors under Rule 88, he shall, where the claims are amended or corrected, file a translation of the claims as amended or corrected. If the applicant pays the fees and files the translation within this period, he shall be deemed to have approved the grant of the patent as amended or corrected.


(6) If the Examining Division does not consent to an amendment or correction requested under paragraph 5, it shall, before taking a decision, give the applicant an opportunity to submit, within a period to be specified, his observations and any amendments considered necessary by the Examining Division, and, where the claims are amended, a translation of the claims as amended. If the applicant submits such amendments, he shall be deemed to have approved the grant of the patent as amended. If the European patent application is refused, withdrawn or deemed to be withdrawn, the fees for grant and printing, and any claims fees paid under paragraph 7, shall be refunded.


(7) If the European patent application in the text intended for grant comprises more than ten claims, the Examining Division shall invite the applicant to pay claims fees in respect of each additional claim within the period laid down in paragraph 4 unless these fees have already been paid under Rule 31, paragraph 1.


(8) If the fees for grant and printing or the claims fees are not paid in due time or if the translation is not filed in due time, the European patent application shall be deemed to be withdrawn.


(8a) If the designation fees become due after the communication under paragraph 4 has been notified, the mention of the grant of the European patent shall not be published until the designation fees have been paid. The applicant shall be informed accordingly.


(9) If a renewal fee becomes due after the communication under paragraph 4 has been notified and before the next possible date for publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, the mention shall not be published until the renewal fee has been paid. The applicant shall be informed accordingly.


(10) The communication under paragraph 4 shall indicate the designated Contracting States which require a translation pursuant to Article 65, paragraph 1.


(11) The decision to grant the European patent shall state which text of the European patent application forms the basis for the grant of the European patent.



77 See decision/opinion of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 7/93, G 1/02 (Annex I).

78  Last amended by decision of the Administrative Council of 09.12.2004 which entered into force on 01.04.2005 (OJ EPO 2005, 8 f).

Cross-reference list
R. 51(1) R. 70(2)
R. 51(2) - (11) R. 71