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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

5.5 Withdrawal of late‑filed missing drawings/parts of the description

Where the applicant files missing parts of the description, or drawings, and makes no request to base these late-filed parts on a claimed priority, he is informed of the new date of filing in a communication from the EPO (see A‑II, 5.3). Within one month of this communication, the applicant may withdraw the late-filed parts of the application and if he does so, the re-dating of the application is deemed not to have been made and all references to the missing parts of the description, or drawings, are deemed to be deleted. The EPO will inform the applicant of this.

Where the applicant files missing parts of the description, or drawings, and requests that these late-filed parts be based on a claimed priority, but the requirements of Rule 56(3) are not met within the applicable time limit, the date of filing changes to the date on which the late-filed parts of the application are received at the EPO (Rule 56(2) or (5)). The applicant is informed of the new date of filing in a communication from the EPO. Within one month of this communication, the applicant may withdraw the late-filed parts of the application (Rule 56(6)); if he does so, the re-dating of the application is deemed not to have been made and all references to the missing parts of the description, or drawings, are deemed to be deleted (Rule 56(4)). The EPO will inform the applicant of this.

Where references to a missing figure, e.g. "see Fig. 4", are deemed to be deleted, then reference signs cited in the context of that reference are also deemed to be deleted, although any technical information in the reference which is still technically meaningful without the reference may be retained: e.g. "see Fig. 4, a distillation column (1), provided with a condenser (2)" becomes "a distillation column provided with a condenser".

If the late-filed missing parts of the application do not satisfy the physical requirements of Rule 49, the EPO will not request the applicant to correct this deficiency according to Rule 58, until the one-month period for withdrawing them has expired without the applicant having withdrawn them (see A‑III 3.2.2).