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The European Patent Convention

 
 

Rule 49
General provisions governing the presentation of the application documents

(1)
Any translation filed under Article 14, paragraph 2, or Rule 40, paragraph 3, shall be deemed to be a document making up the European patent application.
(2)
The documents making up the application shall be presented so as to allow electronic and direct reproduction, in particular by scanning, photography, electrostatic processes, photo offset and microfilming, in an unlimited number of copies. All sheets shall be free from cracks, creases and folds. Only one side of the sheet shall be used. 
The documents making up the application shall be on A4 paper (29.7 cm x 21 cm) which shall be pliable, strong, white, smooth, matt and durable. Subject to paragraph 9 and Rule 46, paragraph 2(h), each sheet shall be used with its short sides at the top and bottom (upright position).
(4)
Each of the documents making up the application (request, description, claims, drawings and abstract) shall commence on a new sheet. The sheets shall be connected in such a way that they can easily be turned over, separated and joined together again. 
(5)
Subject to Rule 46, paragraph 1, the minimum margins shall be as follows:
top 
cm 
left side 
2.5 
cm 
right side 
cm 
bottom 
cm 
  
The recommended maximum for the margins quoted above is as follows: 
top 
cm 
left side 
cm 
right side 
cm 
bottom 
cm 
  
(6)
All the sheets contained in the application shall be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals. These shall be centred at the top of the sheet, but not placed in the top margin. 
(7)
The lines of each sheet of the description and of the claims shall preferably be numbered in sets of five, the numbers appearing on the left side, to the right of the margin. 
The request for grant of a European patent, the description, the claims and the abstract shall be typed or printed. Only graphic symbols and characters and chemical or mathematical formulae may, if necessary, be drawn or written by hand. The typing shall be 1½ spaced. All text matter shall be in characters, the capital letters of which are not less than 0.21 cm high, and shall be in a dark, indelible colour. 
(9)
The request for grant of a European patent, the description, the claims and the abstract shall not contain drawings. The description, claims and abstract may contain chemical or mathematical formulae. The description and abstract may contain tables. The claims may contain tables only if their subject-matter makes the use of tables desirable. Tables and chemical or mathematical formulae may be placed sideways on the sheet if they cannot be presented satisfactorily in an upright position. Tables or chemical or mathematical formulae presented sideways shall be placed so that the tops of the tables or formulae are at the left-hand side of the sheet. 
Values shall be expressed in units conforming to international standards, wherever appropriate in terms of the metric system using SI units. Any data not meeting this requirement shall also be expressed in units conforming to international standards. Only the technical terms, formulae, signs and symbols generally accepted in the field in question shall be used. 
(11)
The terminology and the signs shall be consistent throughout the European patent application. 
(12)
Each sheet shall be reasonably free from erasures and shall be free from alterations. Non-compliance with this rule may be authorised if the authenticity of the content is not impugned and the requirements for good reproduction are not thereby jeopardised. 
 
Amended by decision of the Administrative Council CA/D 4/08 of 21.10.2008 (OJ EPO 2008, 513), entered into force on 01.04.2009.
See notice from the EPO, OJ EPO 2013, 603.
Amended by decision of the Administrative Council CA/D 4/08 of 21.10.2008 (OJ EPO 2008, 513), entered into force on 01.04.2009.
References

Art. 78, 80, 84, 85
R. 1, 2, 50, 57

 
Version history +
13.12.2007 - 31.03.2009 
Decision of the Administrative Council of 07.12.2006 (CA/D 10/06), (OJ EPO 2007, 8 and Special edition 1/2007)
01.04.2009 -  
CA/D 4/08 (OJ EPO 2008, 513)
 
Cross-reference list
EPC EPC 1973
R. 49R. 35