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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
1.1
Filing of applications by delivery by hand or by post 

European patent applications may be filed in writing, by delivery by hand, by post or by technical means of communication (see A-II, 1.2 and 1.3) at the EPO's filing offices in Munich, The Hague or Berlin. The EPO's sub-office in Vienna is not a filing office.

The opening hours of the filing offices of the EPO were published in the Notice from the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, A.2. Dates on which at least one of the filing offices of the EPO is not open to receive documents are likewise announced at regular intervals in the Official Journal of the EPO (see also E-VII, 1.4).

The EPO filing offices in Berlin and Munich are equipped with automated mail-boxes, which may be used at any time. The automated mail-box facility is not currently available at the filing office at The Hague. Outside office hours documents may be handed in to the porter.

European patent applications (with the exception of divisional applications, see A-IV, 1.3.1, and applications according to Art. 61(1)(b), see A-IV, 2.7) may also be filed at the central industrial property office or other competent authority of a Contracting State if the national law of that State so allows (see A-II, 1.7).