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Guidelines for Examination


3. Documents to be used as evidence

Documents which are to be used as evidence may be filed in any language. This applies during any proceedings before the EPO and applies especially to publications (for instance, an extract from a Russian periodical cited by an opponent to show lack of novelty or lack of inventive step). However, the department dealing with the case may require a translation in one of the languages of the EPO, at the choice of the person filing the document. If the document is filed by the applicant in pre-grant proceedings, the EPO should require a translation, unless the examiners are fully competent in the language concerned. In most cases, however, such documents will be filed in opposition proceedings and a translation should be required. The department concerned may require this translation to be filed within a time limit. This is to be fixed on a case-by-case basis. The period allowed should depend on the particular language concerned and on the length of the document to be translated, taking into account the provisions of Rule 132 (minimum of two months, maximum of four months, exceptionally six months). Failure to provide the translation within the specified time limit means that the EPO may disregard the document in question.


Rule 3(3)