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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
2.5
Limitation of the option to withdraw the European patent application 

As from the time when a third party proves to the EPO that he has initiated proceedings concerning entitlement (see A-IV, 2.2) and up to the date on which the EPO resumes the proceedings for grant (see A-IV, 2.3), neither the European patent application nor the designation of any Contracting State may be withdrawn.

References

Rule 15