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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

12.1 General remarks

At the applicant's request and on payment of the prescribed fee European patent applications (direct or Euro-PCT) and thus patents can be extended to European states for which an Extension Agreement with the EPO has become effective (extension states).

Extension may be requested for the following European states:

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)

since 1 December 2004

Montenegro

since 1 March 2010

The EPO's extension agreements with the Republic of Slovenia (entry into force: 1 March 1994), the Republic of Romania (15 October 1996), the Republic of Lithuania (5 July 1994), the Republic of Latvia (1 May 1995), the Republic of Croatia (1 April 2004), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1 November 1997), Albania (1 February 1996) and the Republic of Serbia (1 November 2004) terminated when these countries acceded to the EPC with effect from 1 December 2002, 1 March 2003, 1 December 2004, 1 July 2005, 1 January 2008, 1 January 2009, 1 May 2010 and 1 October 2010 respectively. However, the extension system continues to apply to all European and international applications filed prior to those dates, and to all European patents granted in respect of such applications.

A request for extension to the above-mentioned states is deemed to be made with any European application filed after entry into force and before the termination of the respective Extension Agreements. This applies also to Euro-PCT applications provided that the EPO has been designated for a European patent and the extension state has been designated for a national patent in the international application. The request is deemed withdrawn if the extension fee is not paid within the prescribed time limit (see A‑III, 12.2). It is by paying the extension fee that the applicant decides to extend his application to a certain extension state. The declaration in the appropriate section of the Request for Grant form (Form 1001) or of Form 1200 for entry into the European phase before the EPO, where the applicant is asked to state whether he intends to pay the extension fee, is merely for information purposes and intended to assist in recording fee payments.

A request for extension in respect of a divisional application (see A‑IV, 1) is deemed to be made only if the respective request is still effective in the parent application when the divisional application is filed.