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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
2.7
Filing a new application 

A new European patent application under Art. 61(1)(b) must be filed in paper or electronic form at The Hague, Munich or Berlin offices of the EPO. It is not possible to file an application according to Art. 61(1)(b) with the competent authorities of a Contracting State.

The new application is in many other respects treated as a European divisional application and corresponding provisions apply. In particular, the following provisions relating to divisional applications apply mutatis mutandis:

(i)
accordance of the date of filing of the earlier application and entitlement to priority date – see A-IV, 1.2;
(ii)
information in the request for grant – see A-IV, 1.3.2;
(iii)
filing, search, designation and claims fees – see A-IV, 1.4.1 and 1.4.2;
(iv)
designation of inventor – see A-IV, 1.5.
(v)
language requirements – see A-IV, 1.3.3.

However, arrangements for renewal fees are different. For the year in which the new application is filed and for the years beforehand, no renewal fees are payable.

In other respects the formal examination is carried out as for other applications.

If it is adjudged that a third party is entitled to the grant of a European patent for only some of the Contracting States designated in the earlier application, and the third party files a new application for these States, for the remaining States the earlier application continues to be in the name of the earlier applicant.

The earlier application is deemed to be withdrawn on the date of filing of the new application for the Contracting States designated therein in which the decision has been taken or recognised.