The specification of the European patent is not published if the application is withdrawn before termination of the technical preparations for publication. If after termination of the technical preparations the application is withdrawn to avoid publication, non-publication cannot be guaranteed. The EPO will, however, try (in accordance with the principles of J 5/81) to prevent publication on a case-by-case basis if the stage reached in the publication procedure permits this reasonably easily. The application may be withdrawn by means of a signed declaration, which should be unqualified and unambiguous (see J 11/80). The applicant is bound by an effective declaration of withdrawal (see J 25/03, J 4/97; and J 10/87).