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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

6.8.2 Invitation to file the translation in examination/opposition

The period set under Rule 132(2) for providing the translation in either examination or opposition proceedings will be four months.

If not sent earlier (see A‑III, 6.8.1), an invitation according to Rule 53(3) may be sent in examination proceedings either alone or as an annex to a communication according to Art. 94(3). When sent as an annex to a communication according to Art. 94(3), the time limit set for reply to that communication will be the same as that for providing the translation (i.e. four months), even where the issues raised in the communication are minor (see E‑VII, 1.2).

For Euro-PCT applications where the EPO acted as the ISA or the Supplementary International Searching Authority (SISA, Rule 45bis PCT), an invitation according to Rule 53(3) may be sent by the Examining Division only after the period according to Rule 161(1) has expired (see E‑VIII, 3.2).

Since the proprietor of a European patent might not have previously been invited to file a translation (in the examination procedure or earlier as indicated in A‑III, 6.8.1), in cases where the validity of the claimed priority becomes relevant in the assessment of patentability in opposition proceedings, the EPO may make the above invitation during the opposition procedure.

In examination and opposition proceedings, where the applicant or proprietor has been invited to provide the translation, no summons to oral proceedings will be sent until either the translation is provided or the period for further processing in respect of the time limit according to Rule 53(3) has expired, whichever is the earlier.

In practice, the Search, Examining or Opposition Division dealing with the patent application or patent will inform the Formalities Officer that a translation of the priority is required and the Formalities Officer will then despatch the above communication.