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Guidelines for Examination


2.2 Stay of proceedings for grant

If a third party provides proof to the EPO that he has opened proceedings against the applicant for the purpose of seeking a judgement that he is entitled to the grant of the European patent the EPO will stay the proceedings for grant unless the third party communicates to the EPO in writing his consent to the continuation of such proceedings. This consent is irrevocable.

Proceedings for grant may not be stayed before the publication of the European patent application. In the case of a Euro-PCT application proceedings may only be stayed after expiry of the time limit for entry into the European phase.

Furthermore, Rule 14(1) only refers to national entitlement proceedings which result directly, i.e. generally and automatically, in decisions mentioned in Art. 61(1) and it does not refer to proceedings initiated before a court of a non-Contracting State (J 6/03, r.21). Jurisdiction and the recognition of decisions regarding the right to the grant of a European patent for EPC Contracting States are governed by the Protocol on Recognition, which under Art. 164(1) is an integral part of the EPC. Arbitration awards may be recognised, provided that they may automatically be recognised by all designated Contracting States, e.g. pursuant to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 10 June 1958.

The dates on which proceedings are stayed and resumed will be entered in the European Patent Register (Rule 143(1)(s)). They will also be communicated to the parties.

For the stay of opposition proceedings, see D‑VII, 4.1.


Rule 14(1)