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The European Patent Convention

 
 

FOREWORD

This 15th html-edition of the European Patent Convention (EPC) which will be regularly updated contains  
– the revised texts of the Convention and its protocols which entered into force on 13 December 2007, and  
– the Implementing Regulations as in force since 1 April 2014.  
The following amendments to the Implementing Regulations are newly incorporated: Administrative Council decisions  
CA/D 15/13 of 16.10.2013, OJ EPO 2013, 501 re Rules 36(1), 38(4), 135(2);
CA/D 16/13 of 13.12.2013, OJ EPO 2014, A3, re Rule 103;
CA/D 19/13 of 13.12.2013, OJ EPO 2014, A4, re Rule 6.
The Rules relating to Fees in this edition are those in force since 1 April 2014, i.e. including decisions
CA/D 14/13 of 13.12.2013, OJ EPO 2014, A5 re Article 2 RFees;
CA/D 19/13 of 13.12.2013, OJ EPO 2014, A4 re Article 14(1) RFees.
The text also includes an extract from the Revision Act of 29 November 2000 and the transitional provisions under the act's Article 7.
A concordance list showing the provisions which entered into force on 13 December 2007 and their counterparts in the text valid before that date is annexed. The index of G decisions has been retained, the keyword index updated. 
Citation practice 
When the revised Convention – or "EPC 2000" – entered into force, the text valid until that time ("EPC 1973") ceased to apply. The attribute "2000" is therefore omitted whenever the revised EPC is cited. 
Sometimes, however, it will be necessary to distinguish between the two texts. In such cases, "EPC 1973" will mean 
–   the Convention on the Grant of European Patents of 5 October 1973 as amended by the act revising Article 63 EPC of 17 December 1991 and by decisions of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation of 21 December 1978, 13 December 1994, 20 October 1995, 5 December 1996, 10 December 1998 and 27 October 2005
and/or 
–   its Implementing Regulations as last amended by the Administrative Council on 9 December 2004. 
These are the versions published in the 2006 (12th) edition of the European Patent Convention. In certain contexts, for example when the older Enlarged Board of Appeal decisions listed in Annex I are cited, there may be references to even earlier texts of the Convention and the Implementing Regulations.  
New text of the EPC 
Article 3(1) of the Revision Act authorised the Administrative Council to publish a new EPC text on a proposal from the President of the European Patent Office. Accordingly, the Office drew up a new text of the EPC and its protocols on centralisation, on the interpretation of Article 69 EPC and on the staff complement, so as to align the wording of the English, French and German versions. The Council adopted this new text in its decision of 28 June 2001[ 1 ], whereupon it became an integral part of the Revision Act (Article 3(2) of the Revision Act).
Transitional provisions 
Under transitional provisions of EPC 2000, most of the revised provisions apply to patents already granted and applications still pending. However, there are exceptions. To help readers ascertain when a revised provision becomes applicable, extracts from the Revision Act have been included, together with the Council's decision of 28 June 2001 setting out the transitional arrangements under the act's Article 7.
Cross-references 
Throughout the text of the Convention and its Implementing Regulations, references to relevant articles and rules (excluding those already quoted in the provision concerned) are given on the right-hand side. These do not claim to be exhaustive, however, and are not part of the official text but simply intended to facilitate its use. 
July 2013 
European Patent Office 
 
OJ EPO 2001, Special edition No. 4, p. 55.