Quick Navigation

 

European Patent Convention (EPC 1973)

 
 

Rule 99

Procedure for letters rogatory

Art. 117, 131



(1) Each Contracting State shall designate a central authority which will undertake to receive letters rogatory issued by the European Patent Office and to transmit them to the authority competent to execute them.


(2) The European Patent Office shall draw up letters rogatory in the language of the competent authority or shall attach to such letters rogatory a translation into the language of that authority.


(3) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 5 and 6, the competent authority shall apply its own law as to the procedures to be followed in executing such requests. In particular, it shall apply appropriate measures of compulsion in accordance with its own law.


(4) If the authority to which the letters rogatory are transmitted is not competent to execute them, the letters rogatory shall be sent forthwith to the central authority referred to in paragraph 1. That authority shall transmit the letters rogatory either to the competent authority in that State, or to the European Patent Office where no authority is competent in that State.


(5) The European Patent Office shall be informed of the time when, and the place where, the enquiry or other legal measure is to take place and shall inform the parties, witnesses and experts concerned.


(6) If so requested by the European Patent Office, the competent authority shall permit the attendance of members of the department concerned and allow them to question any person giving evidence either directly or through the competent authority.


(7) The execution of letters rogatory shall not give rise to any reimbursement of fees or costs of any nature. Nevertheless, the State in which letters rogatory are executed has the right to require the Organisation to reimburse any fees paid to experts and interpreters and the costs incurred by the procedure of paragraph 6.


(8) If the law applied by the competent authority obliges the parties to secure evidence and the authority is not able itself to execute the letters rogatory, that authority may, with the consent of the European Patent Office, appoint a suitable person to do so. When seeking the consent of the European Patent Office, the competent authority shall indicate the approximate costs which would result from this procedure. If the European Patent Office gives its consent, the Organisation shall reimburse any costs incurred; without such consent, the Organisation shall not be liable for such costs.


Cross-reference list
R. 99 R. 150