Quick Navigation


Guidelines for Examination


3.2 Filing with a competent national authority

If the application is filed with a competent national authority, that authority must without delay inform the EPO of receipt of the documents making up the application and indicate the nature and date of receipt of the documents, the application number and any priority date claimed. It is recommended that the competent national authority should indicate as well the applicant's or representative's reference number where such has been indicated. In practice, the above-mentioned information is provided to the EPO by the forwarding of the application itself, unless national security checks by the national office delay the forwarding of the application, in which case a separate notice is sent by that office to the EPO.

When the EPO has received an application which has been forwarded by the central industrial property office of a Contracting State, it notifies the applicant, indicating the date of receipt at the EPO (see OJ EPO 1990, 306). Once this communication has been received, all further documents relating to the application must be sent directly to the EPO.

Where an application is not received at the EPO from the central industrial property office of a Contracting State before the end of the fourteenth month after filing or, if priority has been claimed, after the date of priority and is consequently deemed to be withdrawn (see A‑II, 1.7), the applicant must be notified accordingly; all fees must be refunded, including any surcharges paid and any fees paid in advance of their due date.